chapter provides the final pieces of Gatsby's makeup, and this is
done by further flashbacks into critical periods of his past. The
real history narrated by Nick is, of course, in contrast to the
information Gatsby has himself provided.
Gatsby was born James Gatz on a North Dakota farm and he briefly
attended College in Minnesota, but dropped out after a few weeks.
He then worked on Lake Superior, fishing for salmon and clams, and
this is where he came across the wealthy businessman, Dan Cody.
Gatsby had rowed out to warn Cody that there was a storm coming
and he should take his yacht to safety. Cody showed his appreciation
by giving Gatz a job. He became Cody's personal servant and this
opened a new life for Gatz. He was able to travel to exotic locations
such as the West Indies and the Barbary Coast. Gatsby fell in love
with the opulent lifestyle and he was determined to become wealthy
Several weeks have now passed since Gatsby and Daisy were reunited
and Nick has seen little of them since that fateful day. It is not
surprising that Tom has become suspicious and takes the opportunity
to go to Gatsby's house while out riding with the Sloane's. Gatsby
invites them to stay for dinner, but they refuse. Etiquette required
them to invite Gatsby to dine with them and to Tom's dismay, he
accepts. Gatsby clearly does not realize that they did not expect
that he would accept.
The following Saturday night Tom and Daisy go to the Gatsby party.
Tom want to see for himself what Daisy sees in Gatsby. Nick is also
there, but is far less impressed by the party this time round. Daisy
also becomes upset when she learns from Tom that Gatsby's fortune
comes from criminal activities. When Tom and Daisy leave the party
Gatsby looks for Nick to find out why Daisy is unhappy. Gatsby wants
things to return to what they were in Louisville when they first
met, but Nick reminds him that he cannot recreate the past, and
here the first cracks in Gatsby's dream appear.
first part of the chapter tells us about the early life of Gatsby,
and how Dan Cody was the source of Gatsby's early education into
the high life and the ultimate American dream. However, unlike Gatsby,
Cody has no driving purpose for obtaining wealth. His life is almost
aimless, drifting about in his yacht in exotic locations. Here again
is the theme that wealth without a worthy purpose is ultimately
The events of the party show that Gatsby's dream is disintegrating
and unlike his previous parties, this one has a different feel to
it because it is being evaluated according to Daisy's morals and
standards, and not those generally accepted in West Egg. Daisy is
a stranger in this glitzy environment and is unhappy with every
aspect of the party except when she is drawn to the scene between
the movie director and his star. These two figures form a kind a
theatrical set-piece amidst a sea of emotion.
There is a rising tension now surrounding Gatsby's relationship
with Daisy, and Gatsby encounters Tom's increasing suspicion.
It should be noted that Fitzgerald never gives us a single scene
from Gatsby's affair with Daisy. This is Nick's story and he never
witnessed their intimate relationship. Fitzgerald leaves this part
of the affair to our imaginations. Instead, he is concerned with
the menacing suspicion and mistrust, which will ultimately lead
to their ruin.