The Great Gatsby Chapter 1

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  • Preoccupied by his love for Daisy, Gatsby calls off his parties, which were primarily a means to lure Daisy. He also fires his servants to prevent gossip and replaces them with shady individuals connected to Meyer Wolfshiem.
  • On the hottest day of the summer, Nick takes the train to East Egg for lunch at the house of Tom and Daisy. He finds Gatsby and Jordan Baker there. The nurse brings in Daisy’s baby girl, Gatsby is stunned and can hardly believe that the child is real. Daisy seems almost uninterested in her child. During the awkward afternoon, Gatsby and Daisy cannot hide their love for one another. Complaining of her boredom, Daisy asks Gatsby if he wants to go into the city. Gatsby stares at her passionately, and Tom becomes certain of their feelings for each other.
  • Tom seizes upon Daisy’s suggestion that they all go to New York together. Nick rides with Jordan and Tom in Gatsby’s car, and Gatsby and Daisy ride in Tom’s car. Stopping for gas at Wilson’s garage, Nick, Tom, and Jordan learn that Wilson has discovered his wife’s infidelity, though not the identity of her lover, and plans to move her to the West. Under the brooding eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, Nick perceives that Tom and Wilson are in the same position.
  • The group decides to take a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom initiates a fight with Gatsby by mocking him. He accuses Gatsby of lying about attending Oxford. Gatsby responds that he did attend Oxford, for five months, following the war. Tom asks Gatsby about his intentions for Daisy, and Gatsby replies that Daisy loves him. Tom claims that he and Daisy have a history. He then accuses Gatsby of running a bootlegging operation. Daisy moves closer and closer to Tom as she observes the quarrel. Tom sends Daisy back to Long Island with Gatsby to prove Gatsby’s inability to hurt him. As the row quiets down, Nick realizes that it is his thirtieth birthday.
  • Driving back to Long Island, Nick, Tom, and Jordan discover a scene on the border of the valley of ashes. Someone has been fatally hit by an automobile. Michaelis, a man who runs the restaurant next to Wilson’s garage, tells them that Myrtle was the victim—a car coming from New York City hit her, paused, then sped away. Nick realizes that Myrtle was hit by Gatsby and Daisy, in Gatsby’s big yellow automobile. Tom thinks that Wilson remembers the yellow car from that afternoon. He also assumes that Gatsby was the driver.
  • Back at Tom’s house, Nick finds Gatsby hiding in the bushes. Gatsby says that he has been waiting there in order to make sure that Tom did not hurt Daisy. He tells Nick that Daisy was driving when the car struck Myrtle, but that he will take the blame. Still worried about Daisy, Gatsby sends Nick to check on her. Nick finds Tom and Daisy eating cold fried chicken and talking. They have reconciled their differences, and Nick leaves Gatsby standing alone in the moonlight.
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