Gatsby Revision Notes on an essay topic

These are some notes I made regarding Jay Gatsby + Tom Buchanan's confrontation in the plaza hotel. This incident is in Chapter 7 of the book. Hope it is helpful! :)

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  • Created on: 21-11-11 19:22
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Gatsby Revision- Revised
Explore the ways in which Fitzgerald vividly portrays the tensions between characters in any
two moments in the novel. Refer closely to the moments in your answer.
Tom and Gatsby
In this extract there are many methods that Fitzgerald uses to emphasise the points
regarding Tom and Gatsby's confrontation at this point.
1) Clash in contrasting characters
Fitzgerald creates tension by contrasting the characters attitudes at this point, this
creates tension as there is a sense of friction.
Tom is getting further enraged as they argue
o Contrast in his and Gatsby's attitudes at this point
"'wait a minute' snapped Tom...'Go on' Gatsby said politely"
Tom's unbelief at the fact that Gatsby keeps changing his story, first saying he is an
Oxford man, then says he only went for five months. Tom believes that Gatsby never
went at all. Nobody mirrors his unbelief though. "Tom glanced around to see if we
mirrored his unbelief. But we were all looking at Gatsby.
Gatsby is mocking Tom saying that he was unaware of their `relationship'
o "You didn't know. I used to laugh sometimes."
2) Use of Dialogue
Dialogue is very strong and is used effectively. It creates tension with the insults
Tom insults Gatsby
o "Mr Nobody from nowhere"
o Showing his distaste at Gatsby
Daisy is quite irritated with all of this. She calls Tom revolting.
o "you're revolting
o She also asks Nick whether he was told the story why they left Chicago.

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This creates tension because her voice is now lower and described as
being full of "thrilling scorn"
3) Use of Drama- Through accusations
Accusations are very strong, they are flying in the conversation continuously
between the pair of characters.
Compares Gatsby to Biloxi
o Sarcastic + Insulting- "Tom's voice, incredulous and insulting"
Biloxi had told Jordan that he had been at Yale with Tom and Nick
when in fact he never did.…read more

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Gatsby says that Tom and Daisy's marriage is a "terrible mistake." This creates
tension because he is basically implying that their whole relationship is a mistake. It is
a mishap
Gatsby is surprised by Daisy's claim that she loved both of them. Tom interjects and
claims that even that is false as "she didn't know you were alive.…read more

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The transition from libertine to prig was so complete. "I've got something to
tell you old sport ­"began Gatsby.'
Tom tries to make her admit that she loves him by remembering their past
memories together
o "Not at Kapiolani demanded Tom suddenly
o "Not that day I carried you down from the Punch Bowl to keep your shoes
dry? There was a husky tenderness in his voice.…read more

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Idea of a titanic clash- at the end of this one shall prevail and leave with Daisy
Tom finally starts getting aggressive and shows his anger as he is described as
exploding. "You're crazy, he exploded.(Also relevant to contrast in characters)
The fact that Daisy has guessed what he was going to say and is desperately trying to
stop the truth getting out
o `But Daisy guessed at his intention. "Please don't!" she interrupted
helplessly.…read more

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