The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

The Great Gatsby Chapter 7

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
Chapter Seven
Gatsby stops his parties, replacing his servants to prevent any gossip about Daisy's visits
Nick, Gatsby and Jordan go for lunch at Tom and Daisy's. Tom sees that Daisy and Gatsby are
in love.
They all go to New York, Tom stops for petrol. Wilson reveals that he knows of Myrtle's
In New York, Tom confronts Gatsby about his past and accuses him of being a bootlegger.
Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy never loved him, but she decides to stay with Tom.
Daisy and Gatsby drive home ahead of the others. On the way back they hit and kill Myrtle.
Tom finds out that Gatsby's car was involved in the accident. Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy was
driving but he'll take the blame.
Chapter Seven is the climax of the novel - the different strands of the plot finally
converge in Myrtle's dramatic death.
The conflict between Tom and Gatsby finally comes to the surface - their argument
reveals flaws in both of them - Tom's prejudice and bullying is highlighted, as well as
Gatsby's immoral, criminal activities, and his inability to let go of the past.
The climax occurs on the hottest day of summer - the oppressive heat reflects the
passion and tension of the characters' affairs. The heat makes everyone irritable, and
at a symbolic level it brings everything to the boil.
1) The chapter opens with the news that Gatsby has stopped his parties and replaced his staff.
The tone is unsettling and sinister - the new butler has a "villainous face" and it's rumoured
that "the new people weren't servants at all". Now Gatsby has achieved his dream of being
with Daisy, the parties no longer matter and his lifestyle has "fallen in like a house of cards at
the disapproval in her eyes".
2) The rumours surrounding Gatsby once made him mythical. However, now he shies away from
them by stopping his parties and replacing all of his servants.
3) The rumours that were once a "source of satisfaction", presumably because he hoped that
Daisy might hear about him, now threaten the very relationship he has established with
Daisy. If Long Island society were to hear about Daisy's afternoon visits at Gatsby's, his affair
would be cut short.
4) Nick declares that Gatsby's "career as Trimalchio" was over when he ends his parties.
Fitzgerald gives Gatsby a new literary identity as the modern Trimalchio of the American
Dream. By mentioning Trimalchio, Fitzgerald is also reinforcing TS Eliot's poem `The Waste
Land' as he also mentions Trimalchio, both writers foresee the dangers of a barren life that is
concerned only with material things and has no spiritual dimension.
5) Trimalchio - In Petronius' Satyricon, Trimalchio is a former slave who has made a fortune
through hard work and gained a degree of power. He's famous for holding lavish parties but
the glamour of his exotic feasts is undermined by the fact that he's vulgar and his display of
wealth is garish.
6) Trimalchio's story ends with his guests acting out a funeral for his own entertainment so
Nick's mention of Trimalchio could be seen as foreshadowing Gatsby's death.
7) Fitzgerald initially considered naming the novel "Trimalchio in West Egg".

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
o At lunch Daisy flirts with Gatsby openly, kissing him in front of Jordan and Nick. Daisy acts as if
she's in control, ordering Tom to "make us a cold drink". She inadvertently reveals to Tom
that she loves Gatsby, "You always look so cool".
o Daisy seems to want to force a confrontation between Tom and Gatsby, but later looks
"desperately from one to the other".
o Her behaviour startles Tom, who insists they go to New York.…read more

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
5) Both men try to claim Daisy as their own, without respecting her feelings. Tom says that she
"gets foolish ideas in her head and doesn't know what she's doing" and Gatsby dismisses her
opinion because "she's all excited now".
6) Fitzgerald stresses the importance of time in the confrontation. Gatsby wants to rewrite the
past and insists that Daisy tells Tom that she "never loved" him. However, Tom invokes
history with Daisy to re-ignite her feelings for him.…read more

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
outside. The lighting associates Daisy with the illusion of romance, whereas Gatsby is bathed
in moonlight so that his pink suit is luminous, as he watches over her in a sacred `vigil'.
Through the pantry window, "a small rectangle of light", Nick sees Daisy and Tom and
assumes that for Daisy the romance is over and she has returned to her safe, rich world,
leaving Gatsby, symbolically lit by moonlight, "watching over nothing".…read more


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