Carraway describes the customs of Gatsby's weekly parties: the arrival
of crates of oranges and lemons, a corps of caterers and a large
orchestra. On the first night that Carraway visits Gatsby's house,
he was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. When
he arrives, he is delighted to see Jordan Baker, a familiar face.
He had not seen her since meeting her at his cousin's house. They
strike up a conversation and she tells him that she has recently
lost a golf tournament. They then start to talk about Gatsby and
the ridiculous gossip that surrounds him ' he supposedly killed
a man, or was a German spy.
Nick expresses a desire to meet his host so that he can thank him
for the invitation. They start to look for him and walk into the
mansion. They reach Gatsby's library and find another guest there,
a man wearing very large eyeglasses. At first Jordan thinks that
the books are not real and is surprised to find that they are. After
looking into a few other rooms, they return to the garden.
Later that evening, a man who recognizes Nick from the war talks
to him ' Nick does not know that it is Gatsby. Suddenly, after he
identifies himself, Gatsby gets a phone call from Chicago. Afterwards,
Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan Baker alone. When she finishes talking
to Gatsby, she tells Nick that she heard the most amazing thing
and will tell him about it at some later time.
Guests begin to leave the party. Some are too drunk to drive and
a group has a car wreck in Gatsby's driveway. One of the involved
people happens to be the man whom Nick saw in the library earlier
This was merely one event in a crowded summer. Carraway, who spent
most of his time working, began to like New York. For a while he
lost sight of Jordan Baker. He was not in love with her, but had
some interest in her.
upon his introduction, Jay Gatsby remains a mystery. At his parties
few of the guests know the host or are even invited at all. This
chapter builds on the idea that there is something not only mysterious,
but also sinister about Gatsby. All of the gossip that relates to
Gatsby is borderline monstrous; whether committing murder or spying
for the Germans during the war. When Nick finally meets Gatsby,
the man is unassuming and ordinary, easily mistaken for another
guest. Among the others he is isolated. He alone does not dance.
The sense of mystery that surrounds Gatsby is compounded by the
long discussion that he has with Jordan Baker. There is some amazing
news about Gatsby that Jordan will soon reveal to Nick. Another
contemporary touch that Fitzgerald adds to this chapter is the use
of cars. At the time of this book's publication, they were still
novelty items, and Fitzgerald presents them with a sense of luxurious
danger. A car accident disturbs the end of the party, when one of
the guests drives drunk, and Carraway realizes that Jordan is a
terribly unsafe driver. Her near car accident serves as a metaphor
for the behavior of her contemporaries: Jordan is a careless driver
because she expects others to be careful and stay out of her way
in the event of an accident.