The Great Gatsby chapter 7

Chapter 7

Gatsby stops his parties and subsitutes his servants.

“So the whole caravansary had fallen in like a card house at the disapproval of her eyes.” (100)

– Gatsby and Nick at the Buchanan’s house (102ff): variations of the first visit

– The floating impression of the first visit is now filled with new content:

  • Wilson’s telephone call
  • Nick’s ironical reference to an imagined telephone call of Myrtle
  • Gatsby kissing Daisy

The introduction of Daisy’s child leads to the ironical shattering of Gatsby’s dream. Whereas he dreams to ignore the past five years, the simple presence of the child makes the realisation of this dream unlikely.

At the same time Daisy refers to her as “You dream, you. You absolute little dream.”, thus involuntarily confronting Gatsby’s “big absolute dream”.

(by the way the nurse is the only person who gives the little girl a name: Pammy)

As a parallel to the first scene in the Buchanan’s house there are Tom’s clever remarks on the sun getting hotter every year (see his racial remarks in the first scene), then he gets mixed up and claims the opposite: the sun’s getting colder every year.

  • The floating aimlessness prevalent in the scene is Daisy’s remark: “What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon, and the day after that, and the next thirty years?” (105)
  • The fact that Jordan calls the chill of fall the beginning of a new life also contributes to this idea. (Normally spring is the season of the beginning of new life)

By the way Daisy addresses Gatsby (“You always look so cool”, she repeated”) Tom realizes that they are in love. As a consequence he wants to go to New York: “What’s the matter anyhow? If we’re going to town let’s start.” (p.105)

Before they leave, the motif of Daisy’s voice gets a new quality:

Gatsby: ““Her voice is full of money,”…”(106)

Nick: “That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. …High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl….” (106)

Growing confusion: disorder of cars

  • Tom takes Gatsby’s “circus wagon” with Nick and Jordan, Gatsby takes Tom’s coupé with Daisy (at her own will).
  • Wilson is presented in a confused state: “My wife and I want to go West” (109)
  • Nick remarks the eyes of Dr Eckleburg keeping their vigil and at the same time Myrtle’s eyes who is locked in a room over the garage and who now mistakes Jordan to be Tom’s wife.
  • The idea of “confusion” is mirrored by Nick: “There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind,…” (110) which refers to Tom who is about to lose his wife and his mistress.
  • They rent a suite in the Plaza Hotel. This is the setting for the final showdown between Tom and Gatsby which begins with Gatsby’s attempt to defend Daisy against Tom:

“Why not let her alone, old sport, …”(112)

“The telephone book slipped from its nail and splashed on the floor,
whereupon Jordan whispered “Excuse me” – but this time no one laughed.” (112)

  • Motifs underlining confusion:
    • Confused conversation
    • Mendelson’s wedding march from below
    • Daisy’s idea to order ice (see scene in Myrtle’s apartment, but this time the ice comes)
    • Pointless conversation about Blocks Biloxi.
    • Conversation about black and white (114) (Tom’s racist ideas)
    • Tom’s transition from libertine to prig (114)
    • Does Daisy love Tom or Gatsby? Gatsby’s remark that she has never loved Tom.
    • Tom’s various adulteries are reported which lead to Daisy’s comment that she has never loved Tom which finally ends in a sort of compromise that she loved Tom and Gatsby, too.
    • Daisy is staring in a terrified way between Gatsby and her husband (118)
    • Gatsby’s attempt to clear himself from Tom’s accusations concerning his business is described as “the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away…” (118) He is reduced to his dream.
    • Personification: Daisy is now reduced to her voice: “The voice begged again to go.” (118)
    • While she himself wanted to go to NY in Gatsby’s car, she is now forced by Tom to go home with Gatsby in Gatsby’s car.
  • Nick’s birthday (30): His mood swinging between hope (Jordan’s head against his shoulder) and desperation (decade of loneliness ahead of him).

“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.” (120)

  • Myrtle’s accident as a consequence of disorder.
  • Nick’s disgust concerning Tom, Gatsby and even Jordan. Why? (125)
  • Tom and Daisy conspiring (127)
  • Gatsby watching over nothing.

Motif: nature: leaves falling, summer’s almost over.  Refer to the weather symbolism in this chapter.

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