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The Great Gatsby


The Author
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9



Chapter 7


It was the following Saturday when Nick noticed that the usual party preparations were not occurring. Nick goes to see if Gatsby is sick, and learns that Gatsby has dismissed every servant in his house and replaced them with a half dozen others who would not gossip, for Daisy has been visiting in the afternoons.

Daisy invites Gatsby, Nick and Jordan to lunch. It is an extremely hot day and when they arrive, Tom is supposedly on the telephone with Myrtle Wilson. Daisy shows off her daughter, who is dressed in white, to her guests. Shortly thereafter, Tom joins his guests and comments about the heat that he read that the sun is getting hotter and soon the earth will fall into it ' or rather that the sun is getting colder. Daisy makes an offhand remark that she loves Gatsby, which Tom overhears.

When Tom goes inside to get a drink, Nick remarks that Daisy has an indiscreet voice. Gatsby says that her voice is "full of money." After some additional tension-filled conversation between Tom and Gatsby, they all decide to drive to New York for diversion. Tom insists on trading cars with Gatsby for the drive into the city, so Gatsby and Daisy take Tom's car while Tom drives with Nick and Jordan in Gatsby's new yellow roadster.

As Tom speeds towards New York, he decides to spin by Wilson's gas station to torment Mr. Wilson for a few minutes. At the station, Nick notices Myrtle peering out her second-story window.

Meanwhile, Wilson was relating to Tom how he suspects that his wife was involved with another man, and how the two of them would soon be moving west. Feeling slandered and confused, Tom punches the gas pedal and races off toward the city.

Arriving in New York, Tom's group meets up with Gatsby and Daisy, and everyone decides to go to the Plaza Hotel to last out the heat sipping mint juleps. But soon Tom and Gatsby become embroiled in a heated argument. In anger, Gatsby roars that Daisy was in love with him now. What's more, he alleges that Daisy never did love Tom.

Tom shouts that it was a lie, then turns to Daisy for acquittal. Although she wants to side with Gatsby, she can not. "I can't say I never loved Tom.... It wouldn't be true," she stuttered. Tom confronts Gatsby with the information that he has found out and calls him a "common swindler and bootlegger."

Daisy is shocked by all of what she hears and not wanting to be associated with a criminal, she begins to side with Tom. It is at this point that Tom realizes that he has won her back and that Gatsby has lost Daisy forever.

Gatsby heads for home in his roadster with Daisy at his side; Tom, Nick and Jordan drive a few miles behind. Suddenly, Tom's group comes upon the scene of an accident in front of Wilson's gas station. A woman, Myrtle Wilson, has been run over and killed; the "yellow car" that had hit her hadn't even stopped. Tom, convinced that Gatsby had struck Myrtle, drove hurriedly on home. Tears streamed down his face. "The God damned coward!" he whimpered, "He didn't even stop his car."  



A number of changes accompany the new romance between Gatsby and Daisy. Gatsby has reunited with Daisy; he no longer needs to throw his lavish parties simply to find some connection to her. For the first time, Gatsby shows some awareness of public perceptions of him. Previously, Gatsby has shown no interest in the numerous rumors concerning his reputation; however, with Daisy's frequent visits he must now exercise some discretion.

Tom's awareness of Daisy's affair is mirrored in Wilson's realization that Myrtle and Tom's affair. A major development in this chapter is that Fitzgerald reveals how each of the characters knows or at least suspects what is going on with the others. This is not a society in which moral codes are strictly enforced or infidelities are shocking news. Although angry at his wife, Tom is certainly not shocked by Daisy's behavior. Quite tellingly, Tom seems less opposed to the fact that his wife is having an affair than that she is having an affair with a man he considers to be low class.

The introduction of Daisy's daughter is an abrupt and jarring development in the novel. It is an additional reminder to Gatsby that he cannot turn back the five years that have passed, and makes it quite clear that Daisy is a mother. Yet the presence of her daughter makes Daisy seem all the more immature. Fitzgerald describes the child as nearly identical to her mother, even dressed in white as Daisy traditionally is, and Daisy's manner seems even more insubstantial than usual around the young girl.

The chapter also elucidates the particular qualities in Daisy that Gatsby admires. His remark "Her voice is full of money" is particularly significant. For Gatsby, Daisy represents the money (and, more importantly, the status it entails) for which he has yearned. The distinction between 'old' and 'new' money is crucial; while Gatsby had to strive to earn his fortune, Daisy's inherited wealth has formed her sense of ease and leisure.

The description of Myrtle at the window foreshadows dire events relating to the character. While the others remain calm despite the more shocking revelations, Myrtle verges on hysterics. Tom responds to events with bitter disgust, and Wilson descends into glum resignation. Myrtle, however, is seized with "jealous terror."

The confrontation between Gatsby and Tom depends upon the major motivations for each character. For Tom, the affair between Gatsby and Daisy is further proof of the decline of society and, more importantly, of social stratification. Tom's attacks on Gatsby are meant to expose Gatsby as a lower class fraud. He opposes his wife's affair because it sneers at family life and institutions ' the very institutions that place Tom at the apex of society. He even claims that the affair is a step toward the eventual collapse of society and "intermarriage between white and black." This is a remarkable shift for Tom, who moves "from libertine to prig" when it suits his needs. Tom obviously does not predict similar dire consequences stemming from his affair with Myrtle.

Gatsby, however, desires no less than for Daisy to entirely renounce Tom and to claim her unwavering devotion to Gatsby. When she refuses to concede that she never loved Tom, it is a defeat for Gatsby, who can accept nothing less. It is this fact that gives Tom the victory. Daisy may not love Tom, but she doesn't love Gatsby enough to satisfy him. His expectations are far too high to ever allow complete satisfaction.

Daisy remains a pawn throughout the entire chapter, caught between the arguments of the two men. Her fragility is particularly important in this chapter. Tom and Gatsby fight over who can possess Daisy and provide for her. Gatsby does not tell Tom that Daisy is leaving him, but that "You're not going to take care of her anymore." Neither of the men conceives of Daisy having the ability for independent action. Yet the careless Daisy does not challenge their possessiveness. Gatsby lets her drive to calm her down after the argument, but she is not up to the task. Afterwards, Gatsby must leave the scene of the accident and hide the car to protect her delicate nerves. Her weakness is such that for Gatsby, Daisy's emotions are all that matter, despite the fact that she killed another woman through her careless driving.

Throughout the chapter, Nick serves as simply a passive observer. He is caught up in the events surrounding him, even forgetting important details of his own life. He goes without noticing that the day was his thirtieth birthday. When he does realize this, it reflects a turning point for Nick. He has witnessed the bitter confrontation between Tom and Gatsby, which matures him, and this newfound maturity is reflected in a literal aging of the character.


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