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Minor Characters in The Great Gatsby

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Aashna Parekh

on 5 June 2013

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Transcript of Minor Characters in The Great Gatsby

Dan Cody Only appeared in the novel for a short time but played a major role in Gatsby's life and future
Before Jay Gatsby, or James Gatz during this period, met Dan Cody, he was a janitor at St. Olaf's in Minnesota--> used this job to pay his tuition to attend the school
Gatz was humiliated by his job as a janitor, so he dropped out after two weeks.
He went to Lake Superior and fished for salmon instead
One day, Gatz saw a yacht and warned its owner (Dan Cody) that a storm was coming
"...he saw Dan Cody's yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior. It was James Gatz who had been loafing along the beach that afternoon in a torn green jersey and a pair of canvas pants..." (105).
Dan Cody -a wealthy man who earned his fortunes from mining for silver
Cody was so grateful that Gatz had warned him that he hired Gatz as an assistant
After Gatsby saw a taste of this luxurious life, he was sure that he wanted this kind of life. He then changed his name to Jay Gatsby, because he wanted to recreate himself
Cody thought Gatsby was smart and ambitious. Gatsby held a lot of his trust.
Cody was a heavy drinker, which inspired Gatsby not to get involved with alcohol after he saw what it did to him
Dan Cody was soon taken out of Gatsby's life after he "inhospitably died" Jordan Baker Jordan Baker is a 23-year-old golf champion that becomes involved with Nick during his stay in New York
Jordan is "incurably dishonest" (63), a trait that Nick remembers when he hears a rumor that she has cheated at her first major golf tournament
Nick is still attracted to Jordan even though he finds her haughty and careless
At the end of the novel, Jordan gets engaged to another man
Nick is angry, yet still "half in love with her, and tremendously sorry" (186).
Jordan is often described as being hard, direct, and cynical.
“The bored haughty face that she turned to the world concealed something…she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool insolent smile turned to the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard jaunty body" (63). Significance of Minor Characters Minor Characters in The Great Gatsby By: Aashna Parekh Every individual has minor characters in their life that influence their existence
Major characters-lead the story, Minor characters-support it and add key elements to the plot
Minor characters-advance plot, provide conflict, or act as a character foil
Throughout the novel, the major characters are introduced to the minor characters
Minor characters support the development of the major characters and contribute to the overall theme of the novel Minor characters in the novel: Jordan Baker, George Wilson, Catherine, Mr. and Mrs. Mckee, Meyer Wolfshiem, Michaelis, Owl Eyes, Klipsringer, Dan Cody, Henry Gatz, Pammy Buchanan
Specifically, in The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses minor characters as symbols to create more of a story line Cody's Impact on the Novel Cody left a big impact on Gatsby's life-->Gatsby dedicated his life to becoming a wealthy and successful man just like Dan Cody
Gatsby wanted to become just like him, and he even had a portrait of Dan Cody in his bedroom
Cody completely shaped Gatbsy into the man he came to be
Gatsby even went so far as to copy Cody's style and mannerisms
Without Cody, Gatbsy would never have had the ambition to become wealthy
He would've been stuck using all his effort just to meet his basic needs
Furthermore, Cody invited Gatbsy to parties where the women were known to "rub champagne in his hair"
This is probably where Gatsby got the idea that the rich used these parties to show off their wealth. Gatsby uses similar parties to show of his wealth and catch Daisy's attention
As a result, even though Dan Cody is a minor character, he is the one that gives Gatsby his new identity George Wilson Wilson owns the car repair garage in the valley of ashes where he and his wife, Myrtle, live.
For most of the novel, Wilson is not aware that his wife has been cheating on him.
"He's so dumb he doesn't know he's alive" (30) -Tom Buchanan
After Wilson finds out the truth about Myrtle, he becomes physically ill and determines to move her to the west.
George loves and idealizes Myrtle so he is struck with grief when he finds out the truth,
However, after Myrtle gets hit by Gatbsy's car, Wilson's illness worsens.
Wilson, who is normally kind and reserved, seeks out vengeance for Myrtle's death and his own pride. He ends up killing Gatsby and himself. Wilson's Impact on the Novel Wilson is one of the few characters in the novel that lacks staggering flaws
Wilson is a hard-working man who does not cheat on his wife
He is in a marriage with a woman who does not show any love or respect for him. Instead of being by his side through everything, she demonstrates a strong urge for material things. Even though he loves her unconditionally, she cheats on him just for wealth.
Wilson agree to everything his wife tells him-->he never rejects her.
Wilson is also the only character in the novel that talks about God. He tells Myrtle that she "can't fool God" because "God sees everything"
He reminds us that the lower classes have to take responsibility for their actions. They cannot just retreat back into their wealth like the rich.
Wilson actually has morals unlike the other characters. He kills himself after shooting Gatsby, because he does not want to live with the consequences, and he knows that God has seen what he has done.
As a result, Wilson shows the corruption of the American Dream--> which is only focused on material things.
After Wilson learns that his wife has cheated on him, he still wants to be with her and take her to the west. However, he cannot because of this changing world in which wealth means so much more than love. Jordan's Impact on the Novel Jordan is dishonest, hard, cool, insolent, and deceptive
Although Jordan comes from the same world as Daisy, he is stronger and definitely more modern
By the end of the novel, Jordan is the only one who has not moved from New York
Jordan is able to make it to the modern world-->she will probably have a more successful life than Daisy
Jordan cheated on her first golf tournament to achieve fame
She used a corrupt means to achieve the American Dream-->the dream was manipulated and twisted
Jordan is able to survive in the modern world because she is tough and do whatever it takes to meet her goals
Jordan is a temptation for Nick, but Nick chooses not to be with her
Nick is disgusted by the way these people destroy everything in their way to get what they want (which is what the American Dream has turned into)
Also, the fact that she gets engaged to another man after only not being with Nick for a short time recaptures the Daisy's story-->leaving Gatsby (only a little while after he left) to be with Tom
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