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 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."
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
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
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
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.