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Chapter 7. Nick and Gatsby visit the Buchanan’s, where Jordan is also a guest, and meet Daisy’s daughter. En route to the city, the group stops at George.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7. Nick and Gatsby visit the Buchanan’s, where Jordan is also a guest, and meet Daisy’s daughter. En route to the city, the group stops at George."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 7

2 Nick and Gatsby visit the Buchanan’s, where Jordan is also a guest, and meet Daisy’s daughter. En route to the city, the group stops at George Wilson’s garage and Wilson discloses that his wife and he are planning to go West.

3 The group takes a room at the Plaza hotel, where Tom and Gatsby argue about which of them Daisy loves Myrtle Wilson is killed by a hit-and-run driver. Gatsby reveals to Nick that Daisy was driving the vehicle, but announces his intention to take the blame.

4 There have been changes of staff at Gatsby’s house, apparently to ensure discretion concerning Daisy’s visits. On the hottest day of the summer, Nick takes up an invitation to visit the Buchanans, where Jordan is also a guest. A nurse brings Daisy’s daughter, Pammy, to meet Nick and Gatsby. Daisy suggests that the adults should go to town. She discloses her love for Gatsby through her manner, her “indiscrete voice”, but also tells him that he resembles in his coolness a certain advertisement. Gatsby notes that her voice is “full of money”.


6 Paranoia The longest chapter Now that Gatsby has what he wants he is desperate to protect it His paranoia is communicated to his new butler Nick puts it down to Daisy’s disapproval They are all connected to Wolfshiem- the criminal world of New York has come to East Egg


8 Setting The heat makes things uncomfortable and brings people’s emotions to the fore Page 121: “every extra gesture was an affront to the common store of life” Daisy herself seems to blame the fact that “it’s so hot” for the fact that “everything’s confused”.

9 Nick Carraway Nick remembers that it is his 30 th birthday, and considers his own prospects to be bleak. Nick’s recollection that it is his 30 th birthday provides an insight into a melancholy side of this character:”Thirty- the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair”. F. Scott Fitzgerald suggested, with a degree of seriousness, that life goes downhill once you have reached the age of 15. He was keenly aware that the intensity of youthful expectations and admirations, the largely undefined sense of hope one has in childhood, can be eroded steadily by accumulated experience and steady disappointment. Jay Gatsby, we are told, is the adolescent creation of James Gatz, and that youthful outlook, not jaded by the responsibilities and obligations of adulthood despite the intervening years and experience of war, remains Gatsby’s distinguishing characteristic.

10 Nick’s dismal vision of diminishing potential contrasts markedly with his earlier statement of appreciation for Gatsby’s “heightened sensitivity to the promises of life”. His sense of his own mortality, an irreversible movement towards his own death: “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight”.

11 Daisy Buchanan After the image of the nurturing maternal breast noted in the last chapter, Daisy’s inadequacies as a mother are especially striking. Her daughter, Pammy, is displayed like one more possession in a household wealthy enough to employ a nurse, along with numerous other servants.

12 Tom Tom notices Daisy’s feelings and acts aggressively towards Gatsby “eyes still flashing”, “trembling with effort” (page 125) He is only able to criticise Gatsby for trivial things: “He wears a pink suit” (page 128) “Oxford, New Mexico” He “feels the hot whips of panic” (p131)


14 Mr Wilson Mr Wilson feels the need to “get her away” He has realised that Myrtle is having an affair Nick notes that Wilson and Tom are in a similar situation: “there was no difference between men” Even Tom seems to feel sympathy and gives him the car

15 The Affair They stop for petrol at George Wilson’s garage. Wilson says that he is unwell and that he and myrtle are planning to go West. Tom is startled by this news. Wilson has recognisesd that his wife has been having an affair, although he seems unaware that Tom is involved. Nick notices Myrtle looking from a window. He reads in her face jealousy at the sight of Jordan, whom she takes to be Tom’s wife. Tom feels both his wife and his mistress are slipping away from him.

16 The Plaza Tom, Nick, Daisy, Jordan and Gatsby take a room in the glamorous and exclusive Plaza Hotel. Amid tense banter the sound of the Wedding March is heard, recalling to Daisy her marriage in Louisville, Kentucky, in June, some years before. Gatsby, challenged by Tom, explains that he spent five months in Oxford in 1919, as part of a special arrangement made for members of the American Armed Forces in Europe. Tom, deploring Gatsby’s advances to Daisy, calls him ”Mr Nobody from Nowhere”. Things come to a head with Gatsby declaring that Daisy loves him rather than her husband, and claiming that it was because he was poor that they did not marry. After denying her love for Tom, Daisy eventually admits that she has loved him in the past. It becomes clear that the past five years, since Tom intervened between the youthful lovers, cannot simply be erased. Gatsby still insists Daisy is leaving Tom for him. Then tom suggests that Gatsby has made money from bootlegging in association with Wolfshiem. Following that it is clear that Gatsby has lost Daisy irretrievably, this is a critical turning point in his life.

17 Theme - class Tom drives Nick and Jordan to town in Gatsby’s car and discloses that he has been investigating Gatsby’s past. He denies that Gatsby actually attended Oxford University. Jordan accuses Tom of snobbery. The class distinction between the wealthy and their employees is subsequently invoked by tom in order to assert his superiority over Gatsby, and to emphasise Gatsby’s unsuitability as a suitor to Daisy. He says “I’ll be damned if I see how you got within a mile of her unless you brought groceries to the back door”.

18 Narrative Voice The narrative shifts to a character called Michaelis, who is introduced as “the principle witness at the inquest”. F. Scott Fitzgerald may have derived the name, Michaelis, from Joseph Conrad’s novel ‘The Secret Agent’, where it belongs to a grotesquely fat anarchist. The novel’s pivotal event has occurred. Wilson and Myrtle had an argument. In her anger, distracted, Myrtle rushed into the street and was fatally injured by a car. The car did not stop. Nick gives an account of his own arrival at the scene, with Tom driving. A bystander testifies that the “death car” was a big yellow vehicle. The narrative cuts to the Buchanans’ home where Nick meets Gatsby in the garden. Gatsby reveals that Daisy was driving the car that killed Myrtle, but says that he intends to take the blame. It seems that Myrtle mistakenly thought Tom was at the wheel of the yellow car. Nick returns to the house and finds Tom and Daisy sharing “an unmistakable air of natural intimacy”. They appear to be hatching a conspiracy. Nick leaves Gatsby at his customary vigil, fixated on the green electric light at the end of Daisy’s dock, “watching over nothing”.

19 Structure The party at the Plaza Hotel forms a structural echo of the drinking session at Myrtle’s apartment in Chapter 2. These small parties are interspersed with the larger affairs organised by Gatsby, and effectively provide a close up sequence, or narrowing of focus from more panoramic events on West Egg. In these set pieces, F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates his skill in creating dynamic exchanges in dialogue, using speech to advance the action and to deepen our understanding of the characters and their motivation.

20 Symbol - Cars The automobile, embodiment of freedom of movement and symbol of social as well as physical mobility, has become an instrument of death and mutilation as it does in other American novels of the time, such as Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and Sinclair Lewis’s Elmer Gantry. The singularity of Gatsby’s vehicle, its conspicuousness, makes tracing the culprit easy, and with a little assistance from Tom Buchanan, George Wilson soon finds his way to the Gatsby mansion

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