Nick Carroway, the narrator of the story, has recently moved to West Egg. He decides to pay his cousin a visit at her house in East Egg. Here, he catches up with his cousin Daisy Buchanon and her husband Tom. He also meets Jordan Baker, who brings up the name of the infamous Jay Gatsby.
Tom takes Nick to meet his mistress, Myrtle. They all go to Tom and Myrtle's apartment in New York and have a party. During the party, Myrtle mockingly repeats Daisy's name and Tom loses his temper. He then hits Myrtle forcefully in the face.
Nick finally gets an invite to one of Mr. Gatsby's lavish parties. He attempts to find Mr. Gatsby, but it seems that nobody even knows who he is. He finds Jordan Baker and they unknowingly strike up a conversation with Gatsby. Gatsby then takes Jordan to talk to her privately and tells her a wonderful story.
Mr. Gatsby decides to take Nick to New York to have lunch. On the drive there, Mr. Gatsby explains his backstory of serving in the war, attending Oxford and coming from a poor Midwestern family. During this trip, Mr. Gatsby tells Nick that Jordan Baker plans to ask Nick for a favor, on Gatsby's behalf.
Nick finally knows the story of Gatsby and Daisy. Nick invites Daisy and Gatsby over for tea, which later leads to a tour of Gatsby's mansion. Inside the house, Daisy experiences the immense wealth of Gatsby and realizes she should have waited for him.
Tom and Daisy decide to attend one of Gatsby's parties. There, Gatsby attempts to impress them with his wealth and popularity. During this visit, questions are raised by Tom as to who Gatsby is and what his relationship is with Daisy.