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How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story in Chapter 7 of the Great Gatsby? Essay Sample

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How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story in Chapter 7 of the Great Gatsby? Essay Sample

Chapter 7 starts by Gatsby firing all his servants and then shows up at the Buchanan’s house with Nick and Jordan there. They all decide to go into town, and hire a suite of the Plaza hotel, where there is an intense argument between Gatsby and Tom about Daisy and who she’s in love with. On the journey home Myrtle Wilson gets hit by the motorcar in which Daisy is driving. Prior to the climactic moment of the Plaza suite scene, Fitzgerald uses heat references to tell the story. The ‘broiling’ setting of the Buchanan house has negative connotations of unpleasantness and allows the reader to feel how uncomfortable the situation was. ‘Simmering’ indicates to the readers that the chapter ill no only increase in heat and ‘boil up’ but that also the tension within the chapter will also rise, foreboding the growing anger and conflict between Tom and Gatsby, consequently leading up to the inevitable tragedy of Myrtle Wilson’s death. In chapter 7, the quick successive change of settings also increases the tension; all quickly leading up to the climactic point within the text and the crisis of Myrtle’s death which are all foreshadowed by the vast amount of setting changes in such a short space of time.

It could suggest all the characters are feeling uncomfortable and they think simply removing themselves from the setting will ignore the tension and awkwardness surrounding them. ‘Please don’t’ Daisy interrupted helplessly, ‘Please let’s just all go home.’ Daisy’s awkward plea makes her seem not in control of the situation, and that she thinks the tension will calm and get forgotten if they just go home. Daisy does not cope well under pressure, and ‘on the verge of tears’ she tends to make spontaneous decisions about where to go next to isolate her from the awkwardness of facing the truth about her love for Gatsby and her husband Tom. Halfway through chapter 7, readers see Daisy’s child, Pammy, for the first time in the novel. Daisy however, is not the one to mention her daughter’s name, it is her nurse just before she leaves by saying ‘come Pammy’. The direct speech helps tell the story by portraying Daisy as a bad mother and that she lacks maternal instinct, as she never once hugs the child or talks about the child unless directly asked about her. ‘bles-sed pre-cious’ crooned Daisy’ portrays her as very fake, insensitive and insubstantial.

She uses Pammy as a device to deflect the attention from Tom and to break up the tension and the boredom in the room. Daisy is clearly unaware as to how to be the ‘perfect hostess’ in awkward scenarios. Nick’s viewpoint at this point in the chapter helps tell the story by referring to the child as ‘it’ rather than she, implying that this is just another of Daisy’s possessions. ‘Silver idols’ at this point in the chapter basically sum up Daisy’s lifestyle; like ornaments, purposeless but aesthetically pleasing. After Myrtle has been killed, the following scene at the site of the accident, the direct speech is used to tell the story. Fitzgerald uses dialogue of 5 different characters within the space of one paragraph. The quick paced dialogue increases the tension of the chapter and suggesting the chaos of the scene and how busy it was. Tom’s attributions towards the end of the chapter help tell the story as when Tom ‘whimpered’ because of Myrtle’s death, the readers are then able to sympathise with him as his true feelings for Myrtle are shown, revealing their affair was not entirely sexual. When Nick ‘saw that the tears were overflowing down his face’ readers again are able to sympathise with Tom Buchanan.

This is the only point in the novel in which we can feel sorry for the overall contemptible Tom Buchanan. Fitzgerald uses the imagery and description of Myrtle’s body to tell the story. The graphic detail of the body ‘they saw that her left breast was swinging loose like a flap’ links to the symbolism of the breast being linked to hope. This hope of Myrtle’s dream to leave the Valley of the Ashes has now been destroyed, which is foreshadowing the similar fact that Gatsby’s dream is about to be destroyed. Again, the focus of Myrtle even after her death is on her physicality and sexuality, which is structurally parallel to chapter 2. ‘The mouth was wide and open and ripped a little at the corners, as though as had choked a little in giving up the tremendous vitality she had stored so long’ is very vivid, making the readers sympathise with Myrtle Wilson, and feel contempt towards Daisy, as she was the one who killed her. The ‘cold chicken’ at the send of chapter 7 could be a symbol of Myrtle’s body.

They are both sat at the kitchen table, ‘conspiring’ and plotting about what to do. However, this is all told through Nick’s viewpoint, so we can’t be 100% sure that this is what they were talking about. We can only assume that Tom and Daisy are exactly the same- they wreck other people’s lives and then just move on. They are well and truly unattainable, and at this point Nick realises Gatsby’s dream can never become a reality, ‘watching over nothing.’ The ‘cold chicken’ however, could also suggest the urgency of Daisy and Tom in order to create a solution to the problem they have caused. There was no time to cook the chicken (which reminds readers of Myrtle’s body) because they needed to quickly make a plan about how they’re going to get out of trouble and avoid being caught. This suggests Daisy and Tom think they are so much above everyone else, that they are even above the law. ‘The sacredness of the vigil’ suggests that Gatsby’s passion for Daisy was not just romantic, but spiritual also. While Gatsby is all alone outside in the ‘moonlight’ looking in on Daisy and Tom, he is isolated and excluded from their life; reiterating the unattainability of his dream.

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