The first chapter of the book defines the setting for further events and introduces its narrator, Nick Carraway. He characterizes himself as an observer willing not to judge anybody and mentions that he recently moved from the East Coast due to a big disappointment. The story he is about to tell happened two years ago when he returned from World War I and wanted to become a trader. Therefore, he rented a cheap house in a Long Island suburb. However, he notes the strange character of the community around it. Next to it, there stood an enormous mansion owned by the Gatsby family. Finally, setting the scene, he mentions that his cousin, Daisy, lived nearby with her husband, Tom.
The events start happening when Nick is invited for dinner by the Buchanans. The house he sees reminds of a palace intended to display enormous wealth. However, the impression made by its owner, Tom, is entirely different. From the very beginning, he is depicted as an intimidating person with “the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward” (Fitzgerald, 2018, p. 11). This feeling is further strengthened when Tom declares his racist views. He mentions a book about the danger of minorities for the naturally dominant white race. That makes the conversation tense, and Nick even thinks of calling the police.
After dinner, Nick talks a little to his cousin Daisy. She reveals that she has no maternal feelings towards her two-year-old daughter, and she wants her to grow up beautiful but foolish. Then, Daisy advises him to start a romantic affair with one of the attendees, Jordan. She is a professional golfer with a relatively bad reputation in the media. Finally, Nick leaves home feeling sorry for Daisy’s life and unable to understand her behavior.
In this chapter, the author familiarizes the audience with Tom’s double life and his mistress, Myrtle Wilson. It starts with a description of the place she lives in, called a “valley of ashes” lying between the rich areas (Fitzgerald, 2018, p. 11). Traveling one day to Manhattan, Tom decides to take Nick to the Wilsons’ home, where he meets her and her husband. He also mentions that they keep their affair secret and arranges for a plan to spend the day together. They finally board the same train, but sit in different cars, and then head to their apartment far uptown.
When the three enter the apartment, Tom opens a bottle of whiskey. Since Nick recalls this as only the second time he has ever got drunk, his further narration is relatively disordered. It can be understood that Tom and Myrtle have sex while Nick is waiting and reading a book. Then, some guests arrive, including Myrtle’s sister Catherine and McKee. During the further conversation, it becomes clear that neither Tom nor Myrtle have any feelings towards their spouses. Still, Tom refuses to divorce Daisy, mentioning her being a Catholic as a reason, which is an obvious lie to Nick.
As the party goes, it becomes more stressful and annoying. Myrtle tells Nick a story about how she first met Tom, and their romantic relations began. When they start quarreling about Daisy, Tom fails to control himself and hits Myrtle, breaking her nose. Finally, Nick manages to leave the party together with McKee. His recollection of events becomes even more confused, and the last memory he has is waiting at the station for the morning train to get home.
In this chapter, the audience finally sees one of Gatsby’s famous parties and its owner, the legendary figure of the neighborhood. It starts with a description of the fascinating wealth surrounding the event with guests transferred by Rolls-Royce, an enormously stocked bar, and a magnetic band playing. Moreover, Nick is one of the few people invited, while the majority simply show up to a public affair. Another surprising fact is the number of English people willing to get access to American money and treasures.
At the party, Nick meets Jordan and tells her that he never personally met Gatsby. Looking for him, they finally encounter a person who recognizes Nick as they served together in France. After a small talk, he mentions that he is Gatsby himself and gives Nick an appealing smile. It turns out that the party owner neither drinks nor has fun like others. Unlike him, the guests behave entirely insane, and the images of them weeping, fighting, and getting into a car accident build the full picture of the event.
Finally, after Gatsby invites Nick to go on a hydroplane, the story is interrupted by his present-day reflection. He thinks about the role Gatsby played in his life and finds that he was more fixated on his new job of a trader. He also contemplates his affair with Jordan, with whom he almost fell in love. However, he refuses to develop this relationship, seeing her as a liar and still having ties with a girl back at home.
In this chapter, the readers learn the origins of Gatsby’s wealth, the story of his love for Daisy, and meet a representative of the criminal world of New York. It all begins on a July morning when Gatsby invites Nick to have lunch in Manhattan. During their ride, he suddenly tells them not to believe the various rumors about his life. He mentions that he was born in a wealthy family, obtained an Oxford education, and fought bravely during the war. At first, Nick believes that Gatsby is lying, but he becomes convinced upon seeing a medal and a photograph from the university. Gatsby also mentions that he will ask him for a favor, but keeps the details in secret.
Upon arrival at the restaurant, they meet Meyer Wolfsheim, who is spoken about in quite offensive terms. He is a definite participant of the New York gang activity and tells a story of witnessing some criminals’ execution. When Wolfshiem leaves, Nick asks about his occupation, and Gatsby calls him a gambler. He also mentions that Meyer is the person who fixed the 1919 World Series resulting in a massive scandal.
The final part of the chapter occurs later on the same day when Jordan tells Nick the story of Daisy. She mentions that they became friends in their late teens when Daisy had a romantic affair with Jay Gatsby. She even attempted to run away from home when he was leaving overseas. She soon married Buchanan but always remembered Jay, although seemed to be in love with Tom. Therefore, Jordan lays out a plan, according to which Nick should invite Daisy for tea at his home, and Gatsby would accidentally come.
This chapter, which is the middle of the book, is fully dedicated to a single event, Gatsby and Daisy’s romantic reunion. It begins with Nick returning home and seeing all lights in his neighbor’s mansion switched on. Gatsby is anxious to know about the decision regarding his plan. He is wholly fascinated to hear that Nick agrees and even suggests doing some bond business together, but the latter refuses.
The implementation of the delicate plan is scheduled for the next day. Early in the morning, Gatsby orders an enormous number of flowers, and Nick invites Daisy, asking her to avoid bringing Tom. They finally meet in the living room, and that is a very awkward scene of two people unable to speak a word to each other. However, when Nick returns, the atmosphere in the room is completely different. It becomes evident they are happy to see each other, and Daisy asks Gatsby to show her his grand mansion.
When they all come to Gatsby’s house, the feelings overwhelming him become clear. He cannot take his eyes off Daisy, noticing her reaction. He shows a whole bunch of newspapers he collected because they had stories about her. When Gatsby receives a business call, he quickly hangs up, which he never did before. Ewing Klipspringer, a guest who seems to be always present, plays an enjoyable love song for them. Finally, Nick decides to leave the two people evidently in love with each other and give them the privacy they needed. This creates a delicate image of passion and happiness, which is certain to be ruined soon.
Evaluating Pros and Cons
|Reunion of Daisy and Gatsby|
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The reunion of Daisy and Gatsby is a controversial event, which can be viewed both as positive and negative. However, considering the nature of their affair and the revelations made during it, the overall influence was generally favorable. First, these two people were once in love, and they still had some feelings towards each other. Their meeting allowed them to spend some lovely days together, reviving the memories of the past. Besides, it was helpful for them to understand their true intentions. Although Gatsby’s display of newspapers and shirts he collected was a touching moment, Daisy soon admitted that her feelings towards him and Tom were equal. Finally, their meeting constituted a critical step in the story of many characters. For instance, it became known that Gatsby obtained all his wealth through criminal activities. It is still necessary to admit that this affair had some tragic consequences. However, such outcomes were either primarily defined by previous events or accidental. Therefore, the overall influence that the reunion had was positive.
Cause and Effect
Fitzgerald, F. S. (2018). The originals: . Om Books International.