The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
Chapter 2
The Valley of Ashes
• A desolate area of land between West Egg
and New York City
• In this industrial wasteland, through which
the commuter train must pass, everything
is covered with dust, smoke, and ashes.
Dr. T.J. Eckelberg
• The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are
blue and gigantic - their irises are one
yard high.
• They look out of no face, but, instead,
from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles
which pass over a nonexistent nose.
George Wilson
• Nick followed Tom over a low whitewashed railroad
fence, and back a hundred yards along the road under
Doctor Eckleburg's persistent stare.
• The only building in sight was a small block of yellow
brick sitting on the edge of the waste land
• One of the three shops it contained was…
• Repairs.
Cars bought and sold.
• A blond, spiritless man,
anemic, and faintly
Myrtle Wilson
• A thickish woman, in the middle
thirties, and faintly stout, but carried
her surplus flesh sensuously as some
women can.
• sensuous, with an
air of vitality
• Myrtle’s sister
• A slender, worldly girl of about thirty, with
a solid, sticky bob of red hair, and a
complexion powdered milky white.
• When she moved about there was an
incessant clicking as innumerable pottery
bracelets jingled up and down upon her
The McKees
• Neighbors from downstairs
• Mr. McKee was a pale, feminine man
• He was a photographer
• She was shrill, languid, handsome
and horrible.
• She loudly complained to everyone
present about her husband George
Whiskey & Gossip
• “They say Gatsby’s a nephew or a cousin
of Kaiser Wilhelm's. That's where all his
money comes from.”
• “Neither of them can stand the
person they're married to.”
ļ¶Kaiser Wilhelm: the last German
Emperor and King of Prussia,
ruling both the German Empire
and Prussia from June 1888 to
November 1918.
More Whiskey & Gossip
• Catherine leaned close to me and
whispered in my ear: "Neither of them
can stand the person they're married
"When they do get married," continued
Catherine, "they're going West to live
for a while until it blows over."
"She really ought to get away from
him," resumed Catherine to me.
"They've been living over that garage
for eleven years. And tom's the first
sweetie she ever had."
The Party’s Over
• Nick describes himself at the party as being "within
and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled
by the inexhaustible variety of life."
The spell of the party, however, is broken around
midnight when Tom and Myrtle argue loudly over her
talking about Daisy.
Tom insists that she not even mention his wife's
When Myrtle taunts him by shouting, "Daisy!
Daisy!...I'll say it whenever I want to," Tom answers
by striking her face and breaking her nose.
Nick's sense of moral order is repulsed by the
violence, and he leaves in an alcoholic stupor, finally
catching the 4:00 a.m. train back to West Egg.