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Chapter 7

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  • 1. The Great Gatsby Chapter 7
  • 2. Why does Gatsby stop throwing parties?
    • He runs out of money
    • He is only interested in Daisy
    • He becomes paranoid
    • His neighbours complain about the noise
  • 3. Why does Wilson want to move out West?
    • To make more money
    • He is tired of life in the big city
    • He has discovered his wife is cheating on him
    • Myrtle wants to be closer to her mother
  • 4. What does Tom make fun of Gatsby for?
    • Wearing a pink suit
    • Throwing bad parties
    • Calling people “old sport”
    • Being short
  • 5. Why does Tom let Daisy and Gatsby drive home together?
    • He realises he can’t stand in the way of their love
    • He has decided that they are not actually having an affair
    • He has cut the brakes in their car
    • He realises that Daisy is not going to leave him for Gatsby
  • 6. What are Daisy and Tom doing when Nick checks in on them after the accident?
    • Tom is consoling a distraught Daisy
    • They are packing to leave the country
    • They are in the middle of a fight
    • They are eating fried chicken and looking conspiratorial
  • 7. Scenes and places
    • P.109 – “The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer.”
    • What is the effect of the continuing references throughout the chapter to the stifling heat?
  • 8. Characterisation
    • Daisy the mother: p.111 – “...a freshly laundered nurse leading a little girl came into the room.”
    • Gatsby’s reaction: “Afterward he kept looking at the child with surprise. I don’t think he had ever really believed in its existence before.”
    • “ With a reluctant backward glance the well-disciplined child held to her nurse’s hand and was pulled out the door, just as Tom came back...”
  • 9. Characterisation
    • P.115 – “’Her voice is full of money,’ he said suddenly.
    • 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...”
  • 10. Scenes and places
    • The party at the Plaza Hotel forms a structural echo of the drinking session at Myrtle’s apartment in chapter 2. These smaller parties are juxtaposed with the more glamorous occasions at Gatsby’s mansion. In these set-pieces, Fitzgerald demonstrates his skill in creating dramatic exchanges in dialogue.
  • 11. Characterisation
    • P.121 – ‘A man named Biloxi. “Blocks” Biloxi, and he made boxes – that’s a fact – and he was from Biloxi, Tennessee.’
    • What is the significance of the mention of this apparently minor character?
  • 12. Point of view
    • P.123-124 – Tom - ‘I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife.’
    • What underlying meanings are suggested by this line?
    • How does this relate back to our previous discussions about East and West Egg?
  • 13. Characterisation
    • Chapter 7 brings the conflict between Tom and Gatsby into the open, and their confrontation over Daisy brings to the surface troubling aspects of both characters. Throughout the previous chapters, hints have been accumulating about Gatsby’s criminal activity. Research into the matter confirms Tom’s suspicions, and he wields his knowledge of Gatsby’s illegal activities in front of everyone to disgrace him. Likewise, Tom’s sexism and hypocrisy become clearer and more obtrusive during the course of the confrontation. He has no moral qualms about his own extramarital affairs, but when faced with his wife’s infidelity, he assumes the position of outraged victim.
  • 14. Time
    • The importance of time and the past manifests itself in the confrontation between Gatsby and Tom. Gatsby’s obsession with recovering a blissful past compels him to order Daisy to tell Tom that she has never loved him. Gatsby needs to know that she has always loved him, that she has always been emotionally loyal to him. Similarly, pleading with Daisy, Tom invokes their intimate personal history to remind her that she has had feelings for him; by controlling the past, Tom eradicates Gatsby’s vision of the future. That Tom feels secure enough to send Daisy back to East Egg with Gatsby confirms Nick’s observation that Gatsby’s dream is dead.
  • 15. Fickle Daisy?
    • P.125 – ‘You’re revolting,’ said Daisy
    • P.126 – ‘I never loved him,’ she said, with perceptible reluctance.
    • ‘ I did love him once – but I loved you too.’
    • ‘ I am [leaving Tom], though,’ she said with a visible effort.
    • P.128 – ‘Please, Tom! I can’t stand this any more.’
    • Her frightened eyes told that whatever intentions, whatever courage she had had, were definitely gone.
    • What has changed for Daisy from the beginning of the day to the end?
  • 16. Time
    • Why is it significant that Nick suddenly remembers that it is his 30 th birthday halfway through the chapter?
    • Look again at p.129, just after Gatsby and Daisy have left the hotel suite. What has changed in Nick’s tone here? Why?
  • 17. The death of Myrtle
    • ‘ her left breast was swinging loose like a flap, and there was no need to listen for the heart beneath.’
    • The cost of a hedonistic, amoral lifestyle?
  • 18. Gatsby’s car
    • Once a source of pride in himself, and jealousy in others – a symbol of social and physical mobility - now Gatsby’s car has become an instrument of death and mutilation.
    • The conspicuousness of Gatsby’s ostentatious car makes tracing him easy – hubris ?
  • 19. Gatsby the tragic hero?
    • Gatsby’s decision to take the blame for Daisy demonstrates the deep love he still feels for her and illustrates the basic nobility that defines his character. Disregarding her almost capricious lack of concern for him, Gatsby sacrifices himself for Daisy.
    • The image of a pitiable Gatsby keeping watch outside her house while she and Tom sit comfortably within is an indelible image that both allows the reader to look past Gatsby’s criminality and functions as a moving metaphor for the love Gatsby feels toward Daisy.
    • Nick’s parting from Gatsby at the end of this chapter parallels his first sighting of Gatsby at the end of Chapter 1. In both cases, Gatsby stands alone in the moonlight pining for Daisy. In the earlier instance, he stretches his arms out toward the green light across the water, optimistic about the future. In this instance, he has made it past the green light, onto the lawn of Daisy’s house, but his dream is gone forever.
    • Is Daisy his hamartia?

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