WMG / The Great Gatsby

The novel

Daisy and Tom were punished by the Great Depression

There have been reports of rich, high-class people like Tom and Daisy in real life committing suicide when the Great Depression occurred. Why would they do that? Well, people like Tom and Daisy are insulated, detached, and isolated from the real world. They know nothing of hard work, survival and all the other concepts associated to the real world. The Great Depression would cause them to lose all of their money, and the power, prestige, privilege, reputation and friends that came with it. They would be left with nothing and have no concept of how to adapt to, live with (literally and figuratively) and face the harsh realities of the real world. As a result of this, they would just self-destruct. Jordan would likely suffer the same fate, as well as so many other characters in the story. Now Nick, he is different. He seems like the kind of person who might be able to survive the Great Depression. Karma can be a patient, harsh mistress. Did Fridge Horror hear its cue?
  • Don't forget that they have a child, my dear man (or woman). Tom and Daisy would have to pay attention to her now since they pretty much can't leave her to a nanny. This will be the final nail on the coffin of riches when they find out that not only do they need money for themselves, but also for her (and that can be bad if little Pamela is just as spoiled as her parents).
    • Isn't Tom from an old money family? If he hasn't invested heavily in the stock market, it's quite likely that he was able to weather the storm. The super wealthy have a habit of staying wealthy.
  • People who were materially wealthy, i.e in land or gold or whatnot, actually didn't do too badly in the Depression, because their possessions never lost their value.
  • Unfortunately, those hit hardest by the Depression were those who worked the hardest. The farmers and the general working-class of America were generally the ones given the short-end of the stick during this time. Since Tom inherited his wealth, and most of his money probably isn't invested in the stocks or banks that crashed during the Depression, he most likely could have stood the storm. Even worse, considering he made his money off of Wall Street, Nick would have probably been hit the hardest out of the main cast by the Great Depression. Considering he's seeking help for his addiction around this time, either his alcoholism was in part brought on by the shock of going from living a generally stable life to struggling, near penniless and broke, in the span of a few days, or he's been struggling with his disease for quite some time, brought on by the trauma of the ending events of the novel, and reached rock bottom just as the Great Depression is about to hit, leaving him even worse for wear. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished indeed.

Daisy was not as dumb as she came across

  • This was a popular thing to discuss in my International Baccalaureate English class (even if we spent hours talking about T.J. Eckelburg). The best line that symbolized this was her wishing her daughter would grow up to be a "beautiful little fool", so she wouldn't have to suffer the life of being beautiful, rich, intelligent, and trapped by society, regretting decisions made in her past. Of course, IB runs on overanalyzation, Alternate Character Interpretation, and obsessing over tiny, insignificant lines.
  • Just because it's an IB-based theory doesn't mean it's worthless. Daisy could be suffering from intense depression or anxiety if she completely realizes the meaninglessness of the life she lives. She's self-aware — maybe self-aware enough to realize that as rotten as Tom is, they deserve each other.

Gatsby is a Time Lord.

  • "Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!"

Gatsby is.....

  • Batman. Think about it. Rich? Check. Single? Mysterious? Check. Involved in some way with criminals? Check. Rich Idiot with No Day Job? Check.
    • The Great Batsby?
    • Another troper adding to this: this was briefly discussed in a literature course I took in college. We came to the conclusion that the green light is his batsignal.
      • Jossed, because of one thing: Gastby's dad is alive.

"Daisy" as a person never existed within the universe; she's actually a detailed metaphor for a car
  • Gatsby was extremely attached to car!Daisy, since she was a really nice car. He had to sell her, though, because he was going into military service. Tom bought her. Gatsby was actually throwing the parties in order to attract Tom, hoping he'd drive Daisy out and give Gatsby an opening to buy her. Eventually, he steals her and starts having a legal tug-of-war with Tom. Tom decides the best way to deal with it is to let Gatsby share the car, and lets him drive her to New York and back. This is when Gatsby hits Myrtle and the rest of the book happens pretty much exactly the same from there. (Also, Tom and Daisy's daughter is a metaphor for the damage/wear and tear Daisy received while being owned by Tom.)

Gatsby did "kill a man"
  • We learn that Gatsby is a gangster and runs pharmacies selling illegal alcohol, but we never find out the other ways he earns money. Gatsby was willing to let an innocent man (who Tom sent to discover Gatsby's criminal activities) go to jail, so it's likely that one of the rumors about him is true; he did kill someone (probably a rival gangster) or orchestrated their death. In the chapter where Tom reveals that Gatsby is a gangster, Nick notes Gatsby does look like he "killed a man". Guilt, maybe?
    • Gatsby was a soldier, he probably killed several men. Nick probably did too.

Nick is gay
  • Read the book with that in mind, and his reactions and descriptions make a lot of sense.
    • There was an article somewhere on the internet that elaborated on this theory. The author pointed out that the greatest compliment Nick gives Daisy, this supposed great beauty, is that she's got a nice voice. Compare his descriptions of the female characters to his description of Tom; his descriptions of the women are all fairly dismissive, but the passage he devotes to describing Tom to the reader borders on the erotic: the 'enormous power' of his body, and then there's this: "He seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing, and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat."
    • There's also the odd scene early on where he leaves the party with Mc Kee and the narration abruptly cuts to Mc Kee's bedroom (I was standing beside his bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear, with a great portfolio in his hands.) then to Nick at the train station hours later.
    • Tom says something very interesting to Nick about Gatsby. He says "[Gatsby] pulled the wool over your eyes just like he did to Daisy." Daisy was in love with Gatsby, or at least in love with the idea of being in love with him.
    • It's not exactly a stretch of interpretation to say that Nick idealizes Gatsby in the same way Gatsby idealizes Daisy.

Tom had an affair with Jordan.

Daisy running down Myrtle was no accident.
She knew that Tom was cheating on her with Myrtle, and she eventually did vow to stay with Tom rather than leave him for Gatsby. It's said that she initially swerved one way to avoid the woman running out into the street, then swerved the other way once she got a good look who it was. She killed Myrtle in order to Murder the Hypotenuse.

'Owl Eyes' is Athena.
Seriously, how much more obvious could you get?

'Owl-Eyes' and The Eyes of T.J Eckleburg are both God.
  • To be more particular, Owl-Eyes and T.J Eckleburg compose two-parts of a christian trinity, T.J Eckleburg is the father, slightly inhuman, perceptive of everything but far off and impersonal. Where as Owl-Eyes is the son, physically present, personal and still perceptive of things, but on a much narrower level than T.J Eckleburg. (If you wish to finish off the trinity, you could say that the Empathic Environment shows a "spirit" of some sort.)

Daisy, Tom, and Jordan are magical folk.
  • The new movie based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be set in 1920s New York - also the setting for Gatsby. According to this post on Tumblr, the green light at the end of Daisy's dock is from an Avada Kedavra spell. So Tom (and maybe even Daisy) may or may not be a Dark witch and/or wizard.
  • So Nick's observation of Daisy and Jordan looking "as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house" may have hit the nail on the head.
  • Assuming Tom survived the Great Depression (as mentioned in the first point on this page), he could have become an American ally of the Death Eaters in the UK (if they had American allies) with all his talk of being the dominant race. In fact, given his views on the black race, he is even more extreme than the Death Eaters, given that Draco Malfoy had one dark-skinned schoolmate and there were black Death Eaters in the Deathly Hallows movies.
  • Jordan did cheat in the golf tournament - by magical means. And Confunded or wiped that memory from the minds of the witnesses who would testify that she cheated. In order to associate with Tom she must have magical blood in her veins. At the same time, she knows enough about a Muggle sport to make a living out of it, so one of her parents is of Muggle birth.
    • Well, golf is a game hundreds of years old and invented in Scotland, so it could be a wizard game as well.
      • True, Oliver Wood used golf balls to practice with Harry. But that's the only time there's any mention of golf in the books. If golf was a major wizarding game there ought to be house golf teams too.

Either Gatsby, Daisy, or both are not purely white.
  • Daisy: A big deal is spent establishing Tom's white supremacist nature, including a scene where he specifically says Jordan and Nick are "Nordic," then pauses and only nods dismissively at Daisy, who then winks at Nick. If Tom was aware of Daisy's less-than-Nordic racial background, he could have also used it as blackmail to force her to stay with him instead of Gatsby, also adding to a new dynamic in his "intermarriage between black and white" comment. The same goes for if she's a light-skinned black woman passing for white.
    • I took Daisy winking at Nick to be a show that she doesn't take Tom's views on race seriously. It's also worth noting that there's very little indication that either Gatsby or Daisy are anything less than white passing. Gatsby however, while likely not black, might be Jewish. His original name was, "Jimmy Gatz" and he's involved with Meyer Wolfsheim, a notorious Jewish gangster.
    • If Daisy has non-white heritage, it probably doesn't come from the common relatives she shares with the "Nordic" Nick. But on the other hand she talked about her "beautiful white girlhood" with Jordan in Louisville...
  • Gatsby: Chapter 4 of this book.

Daisy wanted to attend Gatsby's funeral, but was pressured into not doing so by Tom
Mentioned on Tumblr. Doesn't explain why they didn't leave any contact details when they moved though.
  • They didn't leave any contact details when they moved because Daisy killed a woman, that's the main reason they're skipping out of town.

Meyer Wolfsheim isn't the vicious gangster he pretends to be.
He claims to have fixed the 1919 World Series, but anyone with a passing mafia fetish knows that it was Arnold Rothstein who did that. He supposedly wears the teeth of his victims on his cuff-links, which wouldn't be a very smart move for a gangster trying to avoid being caught by the cops for murder. Odds are, he bought those teeth from some friend who was a dentist, or they may even be his own. Gatsby helps flatter Wolfsheim's ego and spread his tall tales because he needs his help, and because he kind of feels sorry for the old crook.
  • Wolfsheim is based off of RL Arnold Rothstein, so I think it's fair to assume in the book they're the same character, and Wolfsheim did, in fact, fix the World Series.

Wolfsheim and Jordan Baker became partners in crime after the events of the book.
...assuming the previous theory is untrue, and Wolfsheim really did fix the World Series. He fixes sporting matches; Jordan is a dishonest athlete. Perfect business partnership! Wolfsheim will fix the golf games so Jordan wins, and of course, huge bets will be placed on the outcome of the game. Mutually beneficial to both parties.

(( WMG Alternate ending: It is Tom leaving first and near killing Myrtle, who reveals her husband Tom was cickplding him, Rgere's a scuffle interrupted by the police who arrest wILSON and fines Tom for speeding. Daisy and Jay arrive and witness all that. Daisy divorces Tom and marries !Gatsby with Nick best man that marries Jordan. Myrtle reconciles with her husband and Tom is left alone under the manfest's eyes.))

The 2013 film

Nick and F. Scott Fitzgerald are the same person.
The filmmakers have actually stated that Nick is supposed to look like Fitzgerald, and that it's "a deliberate choice by Baz and Tobey in creating the character of writer Nick Carraway." What other reason would there be for such a choice?
  • Sort of confirmed. The Framing Device for the film is Nick writing about his experiences with Gatsby. The final scene is Nick compiling his writings into a manuscript which he titles The Great Gatsby

In the soundtrack, "Over the Love" is from Gatsby's perspective.
  • "Over the Love" isn't from Daisy's POV, but from the POV of a gender-bent Gatsby ("yellow dress"). Gatsby's the one fixated on the green light, which is repeated about every other line in the song. He's had his dream (the green light) since he was a child. ("Ever since I was a child/I turned it over in my head") Gatsby tries to save Daisy (Dale?) from her (his) marriage to Tom (I can't come up with a name here...), hence "you're a hard soul to save." Perhaps in this universe, lady!Gatsby started as a prostitute/singer ("sing from the piano") and met Dale on a gig in his house, then after gaining the favor of Dan Cody and learning how to live as a socialite, uses her old connections to the underworld to get into bootlegging.

The Great Gatsby is a symbolic representation of Leonardo DiCaprio's life
  • His estate is his filmography; his pool is the movie Titanic; his dreams of obtaining Daisy for himself represent the movie Inception his extravagent parties his cinematic attempts; his grande past accomplishments his credentials; his car his reputation; the green light his hopes and dreams; Nick Carraway the Academy; Jordan Baker is Jennifer Lawrence; Tom Buchanan is Daniel Day Lewis. Daisy is the Oscar.
    • Care to explain the Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis parts?
      • This is another troper trying to untangle it. Daniel Day-Lewis won the Oscar (just as Tom married Daisy). Jennifer Lawrence was also awarded an Oscar by the Academy. (Daisy is friends with Jordan, who dated Nick, who is Daisy's second cousin once removed.)
    • So when Leo won an Oscar in 2016, does that mean he got Daisy?

Gatsby is Jack Dawson
This has been making the rounds on Tumblr with the film's release. The idea is that Jack survived and used the Heart of the Ocean to make enough money to be reborn as Gatsby... who has a notable fear of swimming pools.
  • Why build one in your garden, then?
    • Gatsby is an incredibly disingenuous person; he has books he'll never read as a status symbol; what's stopping the pool from being the same way?

Pamela isn't Tom's child.
It's not unfeasible that Daisy might have had an affair before Gatsby came back into the picture; She mentions to Nick that Tom wasn't even there for Pamela's birth and initially, Tom didn't really seem to care that Gatsby was trying to take Daisy from him until it suddenly became a real possibility (and when Myrtle was also about to get taken away), which may explain why he is so distant from Pamela. Also, when she appears onscreen, she very much resembles the younger, long-haired version of Daisy and looks older than mentioned in the book.
  • Why an affair before Gatsby? Do you mean there was a third guy she conceived Pamela with?
    • There's ample evidence in the movie that Gatsby and Daisy slept together - whether or not it lines up with Pamela's birth remains to be seen.

If Wilson hadn't killed Gatsby, then one of Gatsby's connections would have had him killed.

There was too much talk in the papers about where Gatsby's money had come from. An enterprising reporter could have snuck into one of the parties, taken note of who was there and started asking questions. Gangsters, senators, judges, commissioners all in the same place, during Prohibition? That's a powder keg waiting to explode.
  • The butler certainly seems sinister.

Gatsby got Daisy pregnant during the affair.
Which is the main reason why Daisy wanted to run away, as she thought that Tom would probably guess that he wasn't the father. (Tom and Daisy don't seem to have much of a sex life- Tom only started paying attention to Daisy when another man became interested in her). Daisy didn't tell either Tom or Gatsby about the pregnancy because she knew it would result in a fight between Tom and Gatsby, especially as she already has one child with Tom. After Jay died, she could pretend that the baby was Tom's (since he could no longer go to Myrtle) and secretly have Someone to Remember Him By.
Nick is Spider-man.
They're in New York, he's played by Toney Maguire...this wmg was practically obligatory!
  • Alternatively, Tom is J. Jonah Jameson. I mean, the Hitler mustache...
  • Or, Nick is Peter Parker's ancestor. Nick was a writer, and Peter worked for a newspaper (a form of writing). Both are somewhat solitary people with powerful friends/enemies. Both had an ordinary event that changed their lives (Nick meeting Gatsby, Peter getting bitten by the spider).