Monday, April 13, 2009

Gatsby Fishbowl: Chapter 7

If you feel that you have missed any vital clues in Chapter 7 and that you have clarification questions, feel free to address those before you delve into deeper analysis.

Enjoy! Challenge yourself to get into a hotseat today, especially if you haven't experienced the thrill of the hotseat yet.

82 comments:

jkeefer said...

“She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me” Pg. 131
Why did Gatsby burst out and say this comment? Has he finally become fed up with Tom and his boasting antics? Does he love Daisy so much that he can’t live without her?

josed said...

Signing on...

ErinO said...

password check

nicolek said...

I have a clarification question, when they drove into town did Gatsby and Tom switch cars? Why did they do that?

Dennis K said...

signing in

Sethd said...

testing...

Alyssa S. said...

I thought it was interesting that during the argument between Tom and Gatsby, Daisy never spoke up for herself. Why didn't she say anything? What does that reveal about her character?

prestonK said...

"Well, you take my coupe and let me drive your car to town" (121). For what reason does Tom want to take Gatsby's car to town instead of his own?

maddieh said...

I think Gatsby was so caught up in the moment that he thought it was actually true. In his mind, that was the truth, but it wasn't in real life. He only said it to try and hurt Tom.

ErinO said...

Hey Keefer
I think that Gatsby is just trying to maintain control of the situation and say what he wants to hear, what e wants to beleive although it may not be exactly true.

josed said...

Jkeefer: I think so. Tom's such a jerk, and he clashes with Gatsby's personality so much that he can't believe Daisy loves the both of them.

On another matter:What’s the significance of the mint julep passage? I read up and it’s a popular drink from Virginia/Kentucky/Those Parts. Why might it be important?(P.129-ish).

maddieh said...

Nicole- Yeah they switched cars. I think it was just cause Tom knew Gatsby and Daisy probably wouldn't want to run away if Tom had Gatsby's car.

maddisonm said...

Jason- I think that Gatsby starts to realize that Daisy may love Tom, and he tries to say something that will hurt Tom.

Also, why didn't Gatsby make a bigger deal about Tom's lover?

Dennis K said...

Nicole- It's a good question, although I'm really not sure how to answer. Do you think it is possible that Daisy had been conspiring to kill Mrs. Wilson all along and switching cars had something to do with it?

matthewg said...

@jkeefer

I think Gatsby said that because he's trying to convince himself it's true. Now that he found Daisy, he has to face the reality of the situation, which is that their reunion will not be as perfect and unproblematic as he envisioned. Rather than letting his dream be shattered, he tries to convince himself that even with the unexpected obstructions, i.e. Tom, they can still get back together.

Sethd said...

Alyssa,
It shows that Daisy is much more timid than she leads people to believe. It shows how morally weak she is, not taking blame for the incident.

nicolek said...

Alyssa- I noticed that too. I think that it shows that Daisy can't choose between them. And I thought it was funny how Gatsby and Tom spoke for Daisy and were telling her what she should feel. It shows that they are both desperate to keep her and in their minds they thing they're right.

prestonK said...

I think that Gatsby is living such a fantasy that he needs to feel all of Daisy's love not just part of it. He couldn't stand to let her love any other person than himself. Also, he has been away from her so long that he doesn't know exactly how she feels about him. He is creating his image of love from her.

josed said...

Maddieh: Yeah, I think that's it. So Daisy can't run away from him.

Alyssa S. said...

I have a clarification question. Does Gatsby know about Tom and Myrtle's affair? Because he never really brought it up in the argument with Tom.

ErinO said...

Hey Preston
Maybe Tom is trying to be like Gatsby. Maybe he thinks that if he has Gatsby's car, than Diasy will love him for he owns the car now and Daisy is in love with money and possessions.

jkeefer said...

alyssa-
I think that he may have a hunch or an idea about it... but he doesnt want to bring it up unless he is 100% sure of it

Alyssa S. said...

Nicole- That's what I thought too. They are trying to convince themselves, as well as Daisy and everyone there, that they love Daisy more.

maddieh said...

Alyssa- Gatsby might know, but I don't think he'd bring it up anyways. He was so focused on Daisy, that anything Tom did wrong didn't matter. He wanted to victimize Daisy, not make Gatsby the villian.

nicolek said...

Dennis- that was what I thought at first but it seems a little far fetched that Daisy would know that Myrtle would be out in the road at that exact time. But I do think that Daisy may not have killed Myrtle on accident. I think that Daisy could have been in such a rage and she knew about Myrtle so in that moment she decided to kill her.

maddisonm said...

What were your impressions of the end of chapter 7? "he put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight-- watching over nothing" (145 no yellow)

maddieh said...

Wait, I mean, he didn't want to make Tom the villian.

Sethd said...

Dennis,
I think that the reason that they switched cars is because it created a a catalyst for something exciting to happen in the novel. I don't really think there could have been much more reason behind it other than that.

josed said...

Maddison: I think that'd be a bit hypocritical. Gatsby's all too subtle and classy to bring up a thing like that. But it's right up Tom's alley. He's not afraid to stoop so low because he's affirmed in the correctness of his statement. He has complete faith that, as a white man of the economic elite, he can do whatever the heck he wants. Besides, how'd Gatsby know about his lover?

OH, and the fact that they switched cars makes Myrtle think that Gatsby and Daisy are Tom and Jordan.

maddieh said...

I think it is interesting that Wilson tried to lock up Myrtle. I think it is supposed to mean that you can't trap people or secrets. They all come out in the end. Nothing can be kept shut up and lock away. Just like all the affairs in the story.

Sethd said...

Why do you think that Gatsby took blame for the crime? Do you think that Gatsby relies too much on Daisy, that he is nothing without her?

Alyssa S. said...

Maddie- That's true. I think that the fact that Tom started attacking Gatsby directly, while Gatsby didn't attack Tom shows the strength of Gatsby's character. Because in the argument, it must have been hard for Gatsby to not attack him back. I think it shows his strong character and his love for Daisy because he is focusing strictly on her.

Dennis K said...

MaddisonM- I think Gatsby is just so engaged in the notion of a potential relationship with Daisy that he acts solely upon his desires for her. He just can't accept Tom at all. And for this reason, he is willing to spend all night watching over them, just to make sure nothing happens.

prestonK said...

Was Wilson's reason for taking Myrtle west because she was messing around with Tom or simply because she always wanted to go west?

maddieh said...

Seth- I think everything Gatsby does is supposed to be a grand gesture of love for Daisy. He made himself into this person for her but it really didn't change the fact that she loved Tom. I think that it is his last ditch effort to prove his love for her, because it is the only thing that he can think of that can top everything else he already did.

josed said...

Sethd: Of course he is nothing without Daisy. He built his palace of ivory and gold as a sort of gilded flytrap for Daisy. Daisy is his soul, in a way. It's his only ambition, and all else is accessory to that goal.

ErinO said...

Hey Everyone
I have this thought: I think that Daisy and Tom have a conspiracy with each other. Maybe they both want to be together and get rid of thier lovers in order to go away and just be. Maybe that's why Tom and Gatsby swicthed the cars and thats why Daisy drove. Daisy was to get rid of Myrtle and Gatsby is supposed to get in trouble from it and put into jail for murder charges. That way, both Tom and Daisy can move on and end thier messy affairs.

nicolek said...

Maddie H- I think that's a really good point! It seems like trying to lock things up is a theme in this book. It's kind of like in The Village with the secret black box, you can try to keep your secrets but everyone still knows its there

jkeefer said...

erin-
Its possible, but i dont see Tom being that smart....

Alyssa S. said...

Erin- But if they wanted to just be alone, why didn't they just leave? Because they did it before when they left Chicago, so why couldn't they just do that again?

maddisonm said...

Jose- that is a good point. Do you think that switching car signifies anything? Like Gatsby and Tom act as one in the same? Do they say something about our society? Why did Fitzgerald have them switch cars?!

josed said...

PrestonK: It's both. Wilson is just a poor doppleganger of Gatsby, who's trying to find his "Golden Girl." That's Myrtle. Anything he does is for her. Everything else is accessory to that. He thought she wanted to go west, so he's thinking that maybe by fulfilling one dream, he can replace her desire for a new life.

maddieh said...

Erin- I don't think there is a conspiracy. I think that it is just too unplanned and coincidental to have been. Plus, I think Daisy would have confronted Tom first before trying to kill his lover. I just don't think that Daisy and Gatsby would do that.

prestonK said...

Erin-
Adding to your comment, perhaps through the affairs the two have had, they see the error of their ways. Maybe they do love each other and want each othe back but the only way they think they can do this is by "getting rid of" the ones they had affairs with...

ErinO said...

Hey Alyssa
I think that they didn't go away because Gatsby would follow and run after Daisy. Now that Gatsby has had the courage to pursue Diasy and follow her, he won't let her go--his persistance and obsession is too strong.

nicolek said...

Erin- but why would Daisy and Tom want to run away together if they are already married and they don't seem very happy together. Wouldn't there be an easier way for them to be together?

Alyssa S. said...

So who is better for Daisy? Tom or Gatsby?

Dennis K said...

Maddieh- I agree with your comment about Mr. Wilson, but I think there's more to it. I think he locked her in her room because he was simply fed up with all the secrete affairs his wife had been having. He simply couldn't take it anymore and couldn't confront the fact that his wife had been cheating on him. Somehow, he figured it out, and when he did, he lost it.

jkeefer said...

alyssa-
Gatsby is better for Daisy, he would treat her right and not boast about her and show her off. Gatsby has morals, Tom doesnt

Alyssa S. said...

Erin- I didn't think about that. So why didn't they just kill Gatsby? Or do you think they will kill Gatsby?

josed said...

Maddisonm: The 'practical' reason is to satisfy Tom's irrational fear. They're two different people juxtaposed in their opposite worlds. Gatsby's trying to fight for the love of Daisy in the face of the repressed, powerful, and deeply entrenched values of superiority that the aristocracy accept while Tom is battling agains the promise of a brave, new world filled with passion and a completely lacking in restraint.

josed said...

Hey, what might the significance of the mint julep be?

ErinO said...

Hey Alyssa
I don't think either is good for Daisy, well actually I don't think that Daisy is good for either. I do not think Daisy is a prize to go after. Gatsby deserves someone who he doesn't need to be so impressive for. And Tom needs to have a girl that he can control with Daisy can't supply for him.

Maddie.Turley said...

Alyssa~

Even though I want to say that it should be Gatsby and Daisy, because I really liked the idea of an unrequited love story with a happy ending, I truly think Tom is better for Daisy. Without Tom, she is rather helpless. Gatsby is a dreamer and her head is up in the clouds. Tom is at least down to earth and can usually have her following some sort of instruction. I do believe Daisy has some intelligence, but not enough to fend for herself. With Tom, she can feel a bit more free..I think if she were with Gatsby, any sort of love/relationship that could be would dissipate.

maddieh said...

Alyssa- I'm not sure who is better for Daisy. I like to think that Gatsby is but she is still in love with Tom. I think both of the men bring a different love. With Gastby, he needs her and with Tom, she needs him. Neither relationship is really healthy or balanced.

AllisonS said...

Jose,

Traditionally in the South. The mint julep is a racing drink. Found usually at horse races. Most people find it repulsive but drink it through tradition. Maybe it is saying something about their realationships.

Sethd said...

Jose

Well said! He can’t stand to make rational decisions or good decisions if they conflict with Daisy’s needs. Gatsby is completely dependent on Daisy and anything that opposes his goal of being with her is superfluous. Love is blind. It blinds any entwined by it. Do you think that it is ironic how easily he can change his actions from reasonable and intelligent to extremely sordid?

Alyssa S. said...

Erin- I definitely agree with that. How do you think that connects with Fitzgerald's life and relationships?

maddisonm said...

Jose- so in society who "wins?" Why is it that way?

Dennis K said...

jKeefer: Just because Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy doesn't mean he'd be a better match. Consider this quote: “That drug-store business was just a small change,” continued Tom slowly, “but you’ve got something on now that Walter’s afraid to tell me about.” Is it possible that our assumptions of Gatsby being a bootlegger (or something to that effect) were correct? How would Daisy react to this truth (if it is a truth)?

maddisonm said...

“But there was Jordan beside me, who, unlike Daisy, was too wise ever to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age” (Fitzgerald 135).-no yellow band
What does this say about Jordan? Daisy?
What dreams is he talking about?

Alyssa S. said...

Maddie- I agree. I think that that could show the different sides of how Fitzgerald felt with Zelda. He was torn because he knew that Zelda only wanted him for money, but he wants to think that she genuinely loves him.

josed said...

Seth: Well, it's all in the name of Daisy. If Daisy 'needs to be rescued from Tom,' then he's willing to do some low blows in his own way. Tom, on the other hand, is resolute in his baseness: he's a jerk, he knows it, and he doesn't care. Daisy's his girl, and so is Myrtle, and nothing can be any other way. Period. As you can see, Gatsby's world is based on the whim of Daisy, while Tom tries to bend Daisy to his will. That can explain how Daisy can be torn between two inexorable forces.

jkeefer said...

dennis-
but just because he is working on something mysterious and possibly illegal doesnt mean that gatsby isnt a great person...

prestonK said...

Dennis-
With the way people lived in the 20's and the way that Daisy lives, a non-drinker, I'm not sure if she would be terribly trooubled by his past. She knows he doesn't drink and knows it's in his past. I don't think that she would be phased, even if she is blinded by love.

josed said...

Maddisonm: It's a case of an unstoppable force against an immovable object. Both are as powerful, and both will always linger in each others' minds.

ErinO said...

Hey Everyone
Do you think that Gatsby will ever stop pinning for Daisy? Will he ever give up? Going back to before: does he really love her or the idea of her?

Maddie.Turley said...

Jason~

Gatsby could be a great person, and a bootlegger at the same time, but would having that kind of job affect his relationship with Daisy? Doing something illegal is not something Daisy associates with Gatsby. And I think, if she found that out, it would affect them in at least some way if not adamantly.

maddieh said...

I think that Gatsby isn't really himself, so he can't live his own life. Jay Gatsby only exists because of Daisy, so his life is just stuck without her. Had he been James Gatz, I think he could have moved on and lived a different life. But its sad that he really is nothing without Daisy. In his mind, he always had her, but he has finally realized he doesn't. So he is just stuck, and it's really depressing.

Alyssa S. said...

Erin- I think the end of the chapter shows that he won't give up. I think he will keep trying because even after the fight, when Daisy chose Tom, he's still there.

maddisonm said...

How do you think Wilson will react to Myrtle being dead?
Do you think her death had a big impact on Tom? If it did not then what was the point of him having a mistress? What does that say about "Tom's love?"

nicolek said...

Maddisonm- that passage seemed a little sad to me. Yeah that still have each other, but they will never have anything more than that. At least Gatsby and Daisy sort of complete each other and even just for a moment, they get to experience their dreams.

Sethd said...

Why do you think that Daisy stays with Tom? Do you think that she realizes that Gatsby only sees her as a trophy? Do you think that she would rather be with someone who is a man's man, or with someone who can fulfill ever luxurious fantasy that she has, but never really love her, just the fathom of what she once was. I think that Gatsby wants her more because he can have her. I just don't believe that he can love her this much after so much time. Do you agree?

Alyssa S. said...

Maddie- I definitely agree. I think that Gatsby's name shows the power that labels have over people. Gatsby became the person is because of his name, but he would have been a completely different person had he remained James Gatz.

Maddie.Turley said...

I agree with Maddie, I really do find this depressing. Just, Gatsby has worked almost his entire years in his prime, he has devoted this whole time to making Daisy love him. The thought that she wouldn't never even seemed to cross his mind. All he could focus on was what might happen when she finally met him, talked to him, etc. And now that she seems to choose Tom over him, Gatsby's life makes me feel like...his entire life just became a failure, no matter how hard he tried, and no matter how badly he wanted it.

josed said...

Sethd: Well, you know, I think Daisy wants to be with the both of them. Think about it: she's developed a sort of half-love of Tom, as his forceful personality has melded her into his ideal trophy wife. Gatsby, on the other hand, is tailor made for Daisy. He won't force her into a single form, but rather let her be what he wants.

prestonK said...

Erin-
I hadn't thought about Gatsby loving only the idea of Daisy and I think you might be right. At one time she did love him and he nover let that go. He wanted that love again, no other. He did not even want a new love from her, a different love, he wanted to have the love the two used to share, young love. This is because it is the only love that does not involve Tom.

maddieh said...

Seth- I think that he really did love her a long time ago. And he made himself into this person for her. Now, he is used to getting want he wants. So I think he loves her and is frustrated that he just can't get her. So I agree and disagree.

Alyssa S. said...

Seth- I think that Daisy has changed, so Gatsby can't love her the way he used to, so I think he will be let down by who Daisy is now. But I think given the chance, Gatsby can fall in love with Daisy now.

ErinO said...

Hey Maddison
I'm not really sure. It didn't seem that Wilson was really torn up. It mainly seemed as if he was glad that Myrtle was gone. But that's probably cause he was still in shock. Tom had the best reaction though--through it, you cannot find out if he loved Myrtle.

MollyS said...

MaddieH-
I like your comment about how Gatsby and Tom traded cars in order to make sure that they wouldn’t run off together. However, if this is the case then why does Tom come on so strong about the depth of his and Daisy’s love? Is he simply trying to convince himself of something that isn’t true? ErinO’s comment about this topic in regards to Tom trying to be like Gatsby is also really insightful, further proving the idea that he is highly insecure in their relationship.

NicoleK-
I had a similar idea about Daisy killing Myrtle, I was under the impression that while she most likely didn’t intentionally victimize Tom’s mistress there was no doubt that she chose not to prevent her death as is represented in Gatsby’s quote on page 143, “Well, first Daisy turned away from the woman toward that other car, and then she lost her nerve and turned back.”

JoseD-
I completely disagree with your comment about Wilson being a ‘poor doppleganger for Gatsby,’ these are characters with such different dreams in life. Wilson is a man who is living his life trying to keep the one he loves on a leash while doing everything he can to keep her happy (why else would he turn such a blind eye to the affair that is so obviously bringing a new glow into her life?) while Gatsby’s only goal is to get the girl back and to keep her, at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.

aaronw said...

Here is my extended comment:
Overall, this chapter is important because we find out true loyalties and if there really is love in the world of "Gatsby".
To answer Seth's question, I believe that she stays with Tom because he actually loves her, deep down. Gatsby doens't know true love- he can only understand passion and not love.