The party machine that is Gatsby’s house shuts down. When Nick asks why, he is told to feck off, that all the servants have been fired and the place looks like crap.
Gatsby calls Nick and says that Daisy’s privacy is the main reason for the shut down. Gatsby also asks if Nick would come to Daisy’s house the next day for lunch with Miss Baker. Then Daisy calls and they talk about the same thing.
The next day everyone goes to Daisy’s and it is a hot day. Really hot. So hot I am tempted to start a count on how many times the word “hot” is used.
A brief scene happens where Pammy, Daisy and Tom’s daughter, makes an appearance and cutes the place up.
Daisy starts talking about going to town before sharing a moment with Gatsby. Tom notices the moment and agrees they all need to go to town. While everyone is distracted, Gatsby confesses to Nick that Daisy’s voice is “full of money.”
Gatsby volunteers his car for the trip to town and Tom jumps on it, offering to drive. Gatsby says he will take Daisy if Nick and Jordan will ride with Tom in Gatsby’s car.
Running low on gas, Tom and the gang stop at Wilson’s garage. They learn Wilson is planning on taking Myrtle away and asks about the car Tom was going to sell him. Tom says yes and they drive off. A small aside reveals Myrtle was watching Tom from captivity and believed Jordan to be Daisy.
The group convenes at a room in the Plaza Hotel and begin drinking and dropping truth bombs. After skipping around several topics, Gatsby tells the story of how he went to Oxford briefly, but is not an Oxford man. Boom. Tom loses his temper, shouting about random topics until Gatsby tells Tom Daisy does not love him. Boom.
The truth of their love then comes out, making everyone even more uncomfortable and hostile. Boom. Each man insists Daisy loves him more than the other. Daisy says at first that she never loved Tom, but then recounts and claims that she did love him at least for a time. Boom. Tom keeps hammering them with questions and accusations, causing the bootlegging truth of Gatsby fortune to come alive and more doubt to rise in Daisy. Boom. Gatsby realizes what has been said and tries to deny it to Daisy, but she goes silent. Quiet Boom. Tom tells Gatsby to take Daisy home in his car and the two of them leave.
Nick realizes that that day is his birthday and they leave not long after. Birthday Boom.
At the gas station, Wilson tells a man he has his wife locked upstairs. She runs out, seeing the yellow car, and is struck and dies. The car does not stop.
On the way home, Tom, Jordan and Nick come upon the site of Myrtle’s death/murder/killing ground. The yellow car is identified and Tom convinces Wilson that the yellow car was not his.
Back at the Buchanan mansion, Nick refuses to go inside instead waiting for a cab outside. Gatsby approaches and Nick confronts him about the death. Gatsby tells that Daisy was driving and that he will stand outside the house until he knows she is okay, afraid that Tom will hurt her. Nick spies Tom and Daisy conspiring back at the house, but declines to tell Gatsby. Then Nick takes a cab back to his own house, leaving Gatsby watching the house.
What can be said about this chapter to lengthen an already long ass entry? There’s a lot here, heavy subtext with a bunch of plot and character developement. I call this chapter “The One Where Everyone Loses” because no one, not one person in this chapter comes out ahead by the end. Let’s go through each one.
The most obvious person is Myrtle. She gets found out, loses her lover, her husbands respect, gets locked up by her husband, then is run over and f@$king dies. That she died being runnover running towards hope, the idea that Tom would stop and take her away is even more heartbreaking.
Wilson, keeping in the most obvious, found out his wife was a liar and then she died. We get the impression that this man dies not have much and his heart and mind are broken by the events depicted after everything is taken away.
Tom is still a dick, but loses all semblance of romance in his life. Myrtle, his passionate flame, is run down and killed. Daisy, his slow burning wife, has been taken if not in body but at least by spirit. Whatever joke of a marriage they shared is now simply a marriage held together by privilege and convenience.
Jordan Baker lost an evening and Nick’s respect. Had she not been so flippant a character, the personification of the entitled uncaring elite class she may have fared better.
Daisy loses any possible future she had with Gatsby and that line of love. One could argue she was predestined to never leave her station, conditioned to always respond to the path of least resistance that she has bought into.
Gatsby lost Daisy, if only he knew it. If their love had not been lost when they left the Plaza, the act of murder solidified the end of their brief reunion. Tom knew the trappings of his life and after exposing to Daisy how much of a fraud Gatsby was in their world, she could not unsee that and would always look at Gatsby as different. In a way, this mirrors when she rejected Gatsby as a poor suitor and married Tom in the first place. Gatsby was never “right” for her when compared to her society.
Nick lost respect for his old friends. He sees the rich for what they do to hope, for how they turn on those who dream to love and let love be that. As he watches the pain of the night, the callus discarding of death and hope and love, he drops all respect for those that just continue on, like Jordan, without comment. Nick is changed at this point.
The world lost the outward face of Gatsby, the parties and the sexiness.
Old Sport Count
The phrase becomes a point of contention at one point (as does Gatsby’s breeding) and is said by Tom once when he is calling out Gatsby.
- If you just had a row with your mistress and her husband, would you let her drive your super-powered car? Would you? Does that seem safe to you, old sport?
- Think of a time when you got hammered and accused someone of not being an Oxford man at the Plaza hotel. Discuss.
- Ever murder a dude?
- Compare and contrast the socio-economic attitudes of the 1920s and today. What’s up with that, huh?