How does Nick Carraway first meet Jay Gatsby?
Nick is Gatsby’s neighbor, and he first sees him out on the lawn one dark night, reaching his arms toward a green light across the water. However, despite seeing his silhouette, and despite hearing many rumors about him, the two men do not meet until Nick attends one of Gatsby’s summer parties. The actual moment of their acquaintance proves awkward. Nick mistakes Gatsby for another guest, telling the stranger that “this man Gatsby sent over his chauffeur with an invitation,” but that he “hasn’t even seen the host” yet. Gatsby announces himself and apologizes for being a poor host. Now knowing that this stranger is Gatsby, Nick notes a subtle contradiction in the man’s behavior. On the one hand, Gatsby has an earnest smile that exhibits “a quality of eternal reassurance.” Yet Gatsby’s “elaborate formality of speech” also indicates “that he was picking his words with care,” and hence may not be as earnest—or honest—as he first appears.
Why did Daisy marry Tom?
Even though she was still in love with Gatsby, Daisy most likely married Tom because she knew he could provide her with more material comforts. In Chapter 4 Jordan recounts how, the day before the wedding, she found Daisy drunk, sobbing, and clutching a letter. Daisy has thrown away a pearl necklace Tom gave her – a necklace that cost $350,000. Presumably, the letter is from Gatsby, who most likely has learned of the wedding and is begging Daisy to reconsider. While Tom has just given her an insanely expensive necklace, Gatsby is still a student, living abroad, and has yet to make his fortune. Daisy must know Tom will be far more likely to provide her with the lifestyle she’s accustomed to. Once Daisy takes a bath and calms down, she consents to marry Tom, and appears, initially at least, happy with her decision.
Why does Gatsby arrange for Nick to have lunch with Jordan Baker?
Although Nick doesn’t realize it at first, Gatsby arranges for him to have lunch with Jordan as part of his plan to get close to Daisy. More specifically, Gatsby wants to arrange it so that Daisy will come to West Egg, where she can be reunited with Gatsby and witness his wealth firsthand. Having Daisy come to West Egg has the advantage of isolating her from Tom, and also makes it possible for Gatsby to stage an apparently accidental encounter with her. In order for these events to happen, Gatsby needs Nick to invite Daisy over under the pretense of having tea. Instead of asking Nick to do this himself, Gatsby employs Jordan to convince Nick. The meeting between Nick and Jordan in Chapter 4 is part of a longer-term plan that Gatsby initiated before Daisy moved to East Egg. According to Jordan, Gatsby has kept tabs on Daisy for years and followed her when she and Tom moved from Chicago to the east coast.
How does Tom find out about the affair between Gatsby and Daisy?
Tom finds out about the affair between Gatsby and Daisy in Chapter 7, just before the three of them, along with Nick, take a trip to New York. Although no one explicitly communicates this fact, Tom picks up on suspicious body language. Specifically, he notices Gatsby and Daisy exchange glances: “Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space.” Nick watches Tom as he, in turn, watches the exchange between his wife and Gatsby. Nick writes: “She had told [Gatsby] that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded.” Even though Tom realizes the nature of Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship early in Chapter 7, he does not confront Gatsby until later in the chapter, in a room at the Plaza Hotel. Nevertheless, the moment Tom sees what’s going on marks the beginning of the end.
Why does Myrtle run out in front of Gatsby’s car?
At the end of the Chapter 7, Myrtle runs out in front of Gatsby’s car because she mistakes it for Tom’s car. The mistake occurs because, earlier in the day, Tom suggests that he and Gatsby swap cars for the drive to New York. Gatsby drives straight to New York, but Tom, driving Gatsby’s car, stops for gas at the Wilsons’ garage. Myrtle sees Tom from the room where her husband has locked her up. Later that night, Tom and Gatsby drive their own cars back from the city. When Myrtle sees the yellow car coming down the road, she assumes it’s Tom, breaks out of her room, and runs out to seek his help. Myrtle’s mistake proves fatal when Daisy, who’s driving Gatsby’s car, accidentally hits her, killing her instantly.
How does Gatsby make his money?
Although Gatsby himself never explicitly says how he became wealthy, readers could assume his money comes from illegal or nefarious practices, working as either a German spy or a gambler. Readers know from Gatsby’s relationship with Meyer Wolfsheim, the character in the novel who fixed the 1919 World Series, that Gatsby was involved in criminal activities. During Tom and Gatsby’s fight in Chapter 7, Tom brings up Gatsby’s business with Wolfsheim, saying he heard that they “sold grain alcohol over the counter” at drug stores in New York or Chicago. Gatsby responds to the accusation with “What about it?”, suggesting that Tom is right, and that Gatsby likely made the majority of his money through bootlegging.
How are West Egg and East Egg different?
Nick explains that West Egg is “the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.” While readers know that Gatsby’s house is huge and opulent, West Egg is considered less fancy because the people who live there, including Gatsby, are “new money.” While those in West Egg are eager to show off their money, like Gatsby, the residents of East Egg are more private about their wealth.
What is the importance of the character Owl Eyes?
Before readers are introduced to the more prominent eyes in the novel—those of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg—Nick meets a character he knows only as “Owl Eyes” at the first party he attends at Gatsby’s house. Nick comes across a drunk Owl Eyes in the library, in disbelief that all of the books in Gatsby’s library are real. Owl Eyes is the only character, perhaps besides Nick, who is curious about Gatsby and wants to see him for who he truly is. Readers may note that Owl Eyes is also the only character apart from Nick to attend Gatsby’s funeral, a detail that reveals that Owl Eyes cares for Gatsby beyond his wealth.
Does Daisy love Gatsby or Tom?
Daisy seems unhappy with her marriage to Tom from the outset of the novel. Even the night before their wedding, she got drunk and told Jordan to tell everyone she had changed her mind. She tells Gatsby, “You always look so cool,” and everyone else can see that “[s]he had told him that she loved him.” However, Daisy chooses Tom in the end and even lets him tell George that it was Gatsby who killed Myrtle. Although Daisy may have loved Gatsby once, she does not love him more than the wealth, status, and freedom that she has with Tom.
Why does Tom insist on switching cars with Gatsby when they go to the city?
The group decides to go to the city shortly after Daisy “told [Gatsby] that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw.” Wanting to belittle Gatsby, Tom insists that he take Gatsby’s car while Gatsby takes his car, knowing that the suggestion would be “distasteful to Gatsby.” Tom also expects Daisy to ride with him, thereby proving to Gatsby that she would choose him, her husband, over Gatsby. However, Daisy chooses to ride with Gatsby, and Nick and Jordan ride with Tom, setting off the night’s tragic events.
Why is Nick the narrator of the story?
As the narrator, Nick offers a unique and revealing point of view. Coming from a “prominent, well-to-do” yet humble family from the Midwest to the comparatively riotous East of the 1920s, Nick is able to look at the debauchery and brazen displays of wealth with fresh eyes. Viewing the story through Nick’s point of view allows one of the novel’s main themes—the hopelessness of the American dream—to shine through. Had the narrator been a character who enjoyed wealth, like Tom, or aspired to it, like Myrtle, readers may not have been able to see the emptiness of their dreams and values.
Why does Daisy cry over Gatsby’s shirts?
As Gatsby shows Daisy around his house, she sees the “Marie Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration salons” and “period bedrooms swathed in rose and lavender silk and vivid with new flowers,” but Daisy does not react until Gatsby shows Daisy the shirts that a man in England sends to him each season. Upon seeing the shirts, Daisy cries and explains, “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.” One reason for Daisy’s reaction could be that she only cares about material goods, and so something like fine clothing can make her feel affection for Gatsby. However, the shirts more likely symbolize how far Gatsby has risen since she last knew him, and she may feel emotional that she doesn’t have the chance to marry him now.
Why does Tom bring up race so often?
During Nick’s first dinner with the Buchanans, Tom responds to Nick’s comment about Daisy making him feel “uncivilized” by starting a conversation about how “civilization’s going to pieces,” referencing a book titled The Rise of the Colored Empires and insisting that the white race is becoming “submerged.” Later in the novel, he finds a way to shoehorn in the topic of race by saying the institution of marriage is being so disrespected that “next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.” Tom’s racism reveals his belief that there are only a few people in the world—himself included—who deserve wealth and power and that he feels threatened by the idea of others rising to his level.
Why is Myrtle attracted to Tom?
Although George Wilson seems to be a caring, hardworking husband, Myrtle claims to have regretted marrying him from the day after their wedding. Since George did not have a suit of his own to get married in and had to borrow one from a friend, Myrtle thought that “he wasn’t fit to lick [her] shoe.” Tom, on the other hand, is powerful and wealthy and promises the lifestyle Myrtle craves. Despite her own modest background, Myrtle believes she deserves more without actually working for it, and as Tom’s mistress, she can at least act as though she is of a higher social class.
Why does Gatsby stop throwing parties?
Early in the novel, when Jordan explains Gatsby’s relationship with Daisy to Nick, she says that Gatsby “half-expected [Daisy] to wander into one of his parties, some night.” After Daisy and Tom finally attend one of Gatsby’s parties, Gatsby abruptly stops throwing them, for there no longer is a reason to hold such events. Now that both Daisy and Tom have seen proof of Gatsby’s wealth, he doesn’t feel the need to show it off anymore.