The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

The Great Gatsby Chapter 5

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Chapter Five
Nick and Gatsby arrange a date to invite Daisy for tea. Nick tells her not to bring Tom.
The reunion between Gatsby and Daisy is awkward and uncomfortable so Nick leaves the
room. After a while Nick returns, and they decide to visit Gatsby's mansion.
After a brief tour of the mansion, Nick leaves Daisy and Gatsby alone together.
This chapter is the turning point at the centre of the novel when the former lovers meet.
IMAGERY OF LIGHT
1) At the beginning Gatsby's house is "blazing with light". Nick describes the scene in a dramatic
tone, reflecting his fear that his house was "on fire". In contrast, Gatsby's response is casual
and distracted; "I have been glancing into some of the rooms". Gatsby is preoccupied with
the idea of finally proving his worth to Daisy.
2) Nick returns to West Egg at two o'clock in the morning, Gatsby is waiting to know whether
Jordan has persuaded Nick to invite Daisy to visit; he tries to appear nonchalant. His `house
blazed gaudily' as if to reassure Gatsby that it will impress Daisy but it looks like `the World's
Fair', somewhere superficially exciting but with no substance to it. As if to reinforce the point
that the dream isn't pure the house appears to be winking conspiratorially as he tries to
persuade Nick to act as a go-between in his seduction of a married woman.
3) The chapter ends with another image of electrical lighting; "All the lights were going on in
West Egg now".
4) In the central part of this chapter, the two reunited lovers provide a different sort of light -
Gatsby "literally glowed" and the room fills with "twinkle-bells of sunshine" (childish
synaesthesia, veneer of childish innocence). The contrast between electrical and `natural'
lighting emphasises the lovers' joy and gentle innocence at this point in the novel.
5) Fitzgerald uses pathetic fallacy to suggest that their reunion will not have a happy fate. It's
marred by "pouring rain" and a "damp mist". It only rains twice in the novel, the only time
being Gatsby's funeral.
6) The windows are bleared, symbolising Nick's inability to see clearly the immorality of his
actions. The rain reflects Gatsby's mood of doubt and apprehension as he sits `miserably'
waiting for Daisy's arrival. Later however, the sun appears, reflecting Gatsby's change of
mood.
7) Gatsby attempts to banish the gloom by turning on the lights, but in the music room he just
turns on `a solitary lamp'. The flame on the match with which he nervously lights Daisy's
cigarette trembles, and he and Daisy sit in the shadows where there is `no light save what
the gleaming floor bounces in from the hall". This is a Romantic image, echoing Keat's Ode to
a Nightingale but the light is artificial and thunder can be heard ominously rumbling as is
Nature herself disapproves.
NICK'S MORALITY
1) The chapter begins with a conversation between Nick and Gatsby, and Gatsby makes Nick a
business proposition. Nick turns down the proposition, which he seems to suspect is illegal
but his main reason for doing so is that he feels Gatsby is trying to pat him for a "service to
be rendered". Nick seems to care less that the business is probably illegal than that Gatsby id
only offering it to him out of a sense of duty.

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Nick is a moral character - The two men are positioned at the boundary of their gardens,
where Gatsby's neatly mown "expanse" of grass meets Nick's "ragged lawn". The pristine
appearance of Gatsby's garden symbolises the way his glossy lifestyle covers up the less
respectable "little business on the side". Nick's unkempt garden suggests that he's less
concerned with appearances and is a more honest character.
3) However, Nick's sense of morality is not consistent.…read more

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Daisy is also presented in a positive light, and together their behaviour and language
lend the chapter in an innocent tone.
Her voice becomes "artificial" and her behaviour becomes "frightened but graceful"
when she meets Gatsby - she's genuinely shocked and doesn't know how to react.
Daisy's elegant persona breaks down.…read more

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This song is an ironic commentary on Gatsby's
meeting with Daisy, and highlights the excess and unhappiness of the wealthy Gatsby, who
has everything except what he wants. "Daisy tumbled short of his dreams... because of the
colossal vitality of his illusion".
COLOURS
In Gatsby's bedroom is `a toilet set of pure dull gold', this association with a precious metal suggests
the purity and richness of Gatsby's feelings for her.…read more

Page 5

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Nick may be suggesting that while Americans might in effect be drudges at work, they would
resist being openly cast in a peasant role which immediately suggests the stark inequalities
of medieval European society.
Nick is a bondsman and the older meaning of a bondsman was a labourer bound to a master,
in other words `a serf'. Fitzgerald using wordplay casts further ironic light upon America's
clean break from the European past.…read more

Comments

melissa

This is so amazing, it's just what I've been looking for! Thank you!!!

Dla2lag

An interesting and thorough exploration of the chapter, identifying key themes, exploring characters and pinpointing key quotes; an excellent revision tool that will provide invaluable when revising for the Section A part one question. Should be used in conjunction with the other chapter summaries provided on 'The Great Gatsby'.

Dla2lag

An interesting and thorough exploration of the chapter, identifying key themes, exploring characters and pinpointing key quotes; an excellent revision tool that will provide invaluable when revising for the Section A part one question. Should be used in conjunction with the other chapter summaries provided on 'The Great Gatsby'.

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