The story is told from the point of view of the character Nick Carraway in the summer of 1922 right before the Great Depression.
Nick is a WWI veteran, who comes from Minnesota, but moves to New York to pursue a job of a bond salesman. Nick finds himself renting a house in a district of Long Island with the name “West Egg”, an area, in which the newly self-made rich people live, not very far from the mansion of the secretive millionaire Jay Gatsby, in which he likes to throw lavish parties every Saturday night. But no one knows where he comes from and how exactly he made his fortune. Later on in the novel, Nick finds out that the real name of Gatsby is James Gatz, who met Daisy, a beautiful rich girl when he was on a training to become an officer in Louisville. Eventually they fell in love and Daisy promised Gatsby to wait for him ,but married the wealthy and arrogant Tom instead.
Nick also learns that Gatsby made his fortune by the means of criminal activity (bootlegging), as he was determined to do anything, in order to become part of the upper class and win Daisy. Nick is the complete opposite of the other inhabitants of West Egg – he way more grounded, modest and genuine and now has social connections in East Egg, the area in Long Island where the established upper class resides. One evening, Nick goes to East Egg to have dinner with his cousin named Daisy Buchanan, her arrogant husband, Tom, and Jordan Baker a competitive golfer and a friend of Daisy’s. Eventually, Nick learns more about Tom and Daisy’s marriage, that is he has a mistress. As one later finds out, the woman’s name is Myrtle and she and her husband George Wilson own a modest gas station in an industrial dumping ground on the way between New York city and West Egg called ” The valley of ashes”. One day Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby’s extravagant parties for the fashionable and rich part of the society.
There, he and Jordan Baker finally meet Gatsby. Later through Jordan, Nick learns that Gatsby is still deeply in love with Daisy and the parties he hosts are just an attempt to impress her. Gatsby then persuades Nick to arrange a secret meeting between himself and Daisy.
After a while, she and Gatsby reestablish their relationship. Eventually, Tom begins to have suspicions of their relationship and confronts Gatsby while the characters are in a suite at the Plaza hotel. On the way back, Tom, Nick and Jordan drive together in one car and Gatsby and Daisy in another car. When they drive through the alley of ashes, they learn that Myrtle, Tom’s mistress has been hit and killed by a car, which appears to have been the car of Gatsby. Nick later learns from Gatsby that it was not him driving the car, but Daisy, although Gatsby is determined to take the blame. The next day Tom manipulates George and tells him, that Gatsby was driving the car, which leads to George finding Gatsby and shooting him. Thus,Nick decides to escape the hollowness and moral decay of the wealthy by going back to the Midwest.(Fitzgerald, 1925)