The Great Gatsby: Guide For Your Essay: Chapter 3: Summary

Chapter 3: Summary

By F. Scott FitzgeraldRelease Year: 1925

Short Summary

Living next door to Gatsby, Nick does hear all the music and insane sounds of huge parties his neighbor throws. As the story goes, we learn, that whole New York attends them, but nobody was ever actually invited by the host himself. Each guest gets there occasionally or is brought by somebody, who already attended a party once or twice.

The turnaround of the story happens when Nick gets a signed written invitation delivered to him by Gatsby’s chauffeur. He gets personally invited to a party organized by Gatsby and decides to attend it, more out of politeness and curiosity. He appears at the party just in time and finds himself in a crowd of strangers. He feels out of place and starts drinking to eliminate this feeling. Suddenly he meets Jordan among guests. She says, that she was expecting to see him, but their talk is interrupted by two of her acquaintances, who start an innocent chat. From that conversation, Nick learns several rumors about Gatsby. Namely, that he went to Oxford and was a German spy during World War I. They also discuss whether Gatsby could be that heartless to kill a man, for they have heard about it from someone. All these stories seem to be made up to Nick, so he doesn’t really care to participate in the dialogue.

There is a need to describe the party itself, as the author has paid a lot of attention to the details. It is described as a great, rich and luxury happening. There are loads of various dishes, a vast variety of alcohol and gaiety. Most probably, all those huge arrangements have to stress the wealth of the host and how generous he is. Another important thing is that nobody actually knows the host, rare people had a chance to see him or meet him personally. Remember all the rumors and gossips around him. People are interested in him but know close to nothing about his actual life.

Nick and Jordan are finally left alone, and Jordan says she is about to find Gatsby. She is quite interested in him and wants to know how he looks like and so on. They start looking for him but have no clue how to do it. They come across a huge library, where they meet a strange man with Owl Eyes, as Nick describes him. The man is drunk and explains, he’s been drinking for a week already, and he decided to take a short break here in the library. His most fascination with the host is that all the books in the library are real. They are not only covers, which would look presentable on bookshelves, but real things one can read.

Sometime later, after failing to find the host, Nick and Jordan go outside to watch the show. They sit beside a young man and start small talk. The young man calls Nick ‘old sport’ and asks, whether there is a chance they’ve already met previously. They find out they both have been serving in one division during the war. Nick asks about the host, along with mentioning several rumors, he has heard before. In a second his interlocutor says he must be an awful host, for not introducing himself to his guests. He is Gatsby. Nick is fascinated, as he was expecting to see someone older and ‘more solid.’ As the party goes on, Nick keeps a close eye on Gatsby and notices, that the host doesn’t drink and keeps away from the party. He mostly stands alone and only observes his guests silently.

As 2 a.m. comes we hear the arguments of wives and husbands, as men want to leave, and women want to continue the party. One of the butlers comes to Jordan and tells her, that Gatsby wants to talk to her in private. After a short moment of confusion, she leaves Nick alone, and once coming back teases him with some sort of secret, she cannot reveal. She asks Nick to find her in the phone book and meet her next week.

On his way back home Nick sees a man with Owl Eyes who tries to start his car and argues with somebody. Next, we see Nick describing his daily routine. He works in New York, meets women, takes long walks around the city. He says that he starts loving the city, even though it seemed foreign and somehow disgusting at first. After some time he starts dating Jordan, despite the fact she is a completely dishonest person, with terrifying tendencies to a constant lie and cheating in each aspect of her life. But he still feels attracted to her.

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