Gatsby's Perspective: Gatsby really reveals himself to be this insecure little boy behind the big money bravado. It seems that no amount of power or money can hide him from his insecurities about Daisy. We get that they have a past, but what in the world happened between these two to cause him to be so completely insecure? That is the question that these chapters seem to be highlighting with greater and greater emphasis.
Gatsby has SO many moments of complete emotion-filled vulnerability, that I could fill paragraphs with his behavior and words. He is antsy, sleepless, and "bored" one moment, only to frantically second guess himself and berate himself for what he believes Daisy feels (or doesn't feel). On one hand he plays it cool, while on the other he reveals just the opposite (Hello! Showing her clippings about her life?). Jay Gatsby is on a mission, and that mission is Project Get-Daisy-to-Leave-Tom-and-Marry-Me. Or, as he remarks at the end of chapter 6, to repeat the past.
Gatsby and Daisy Perspective: There are these moments in the story that struck me. When they were together, Daisy shed tears over their past, Gatsby revealed he'd followed her life, Daisy acted much calmer, and Gatsby could back off and be a bit more subtle in his pursuit (the music wafting from the doorway after the party, "...in the very casualness of Gatsby's party there were romantic possibilities absent from her world. What was it up there in the song that seemed to be calling her back inside?").
In Summary: I love the multiple layers to these characters. There is a lot of acting going on at a surface level--which we all do, while the real vulnerability hovers just under the surface to pop up and reveal itself. As Nick says, Gatsby has an "appalling sentimentality," that grabs at all of us.
Line I Snickered At: After Gatsby and Daisy reconnect at Nick's house, Nick excuses himself so they can talk in private. On his way back in, he states, "I went in--after making every possible noise in the kitchen, short of pushing over the stove--but I don't believe they heard a sound" (89). Yea, I can't help but picture Nick bumbling his way back into the house. What did he think they were doing, anyway... Too funny.
Okay. I've rambled on way too much as it is! There is so much I could go back to say in these chapters, but I'm looking forward to now finishing it up so that we can pull it all together.
Here are some of my questions for this week:
- I'm reminded of a psychology lesson I once learned, that states that the person with the least interest in the relationship, controls it. Is that person Daisy? Is she so "secure" with Tom that Gatsby could be no more than a momentary diversion from her unhappiness?
- Did you have any lines that jumped out at you in these chapters?
- How has your opinion of Gatsby and Daisy changed now that they have finally met again?
Please share if you would like! Whether you've drafted up a blog post with your thoughts (which I hope you'll link), or you share some of your thoughts in the comments, I hope you jump in.
Just as a reminder, this coming week we'll be reading from Chapter 7 to the end. Happy reading! I hope to see what you're thinking!