Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Accident That Changed Everything: The Great Gatsby Chapter 6 – 7

I do this chapter post for WEM project; see also previous chapter 1, chapter 2 – 3, and chapter 4 – 5.

Gatsby and Daisy

Gatsby’s real name is James Gatz, a child of a farmer, who had too many imagination and ambition to be successful. He took several small jobs before meeting Dan Cody with his yacht and his successful business; who soon became his master. After Dan Cody’s death, Jay Gatsby emerged to the world with all he’d learned for five years from his master. One night Daisy and Tom Buchanan came to Gatsby’s party, where Daisy found new fascinates that she didn’t found in East Egg. She danced and had some moments alone with Gatsby, but Gatsby felt that he couldn’t convince Daisy to leave her husband; while Tom was determined to find out Gatsby’s real truth.

The contrast after the accident

Daisy invited Gatsby, Jordan and Nick to her house for lunch; where Tom saw for the first time that his wife was flirting with Gatsby. As it was a very hot day, after lunch the jealous Tom suggested them to go to town where they stayed in a hotel for a drink. Tom started to confront Gatsby’s identity and dirty business, while Gatsby persuaded Daisy to leave Tom, but he lost at the end. In the suffocating heat and real confusion, Daisy left New York with Gatsby in Gatsby’s yellow car; Daisy drove very fast and accidentally hit Myrtle Wilson to death. At the end of the day, Nick witnessed Tom and Daisy looked peaceful in ‘conspiring’ air while Gatsby decided to cover up for Daisy, testifying that it’s he who had driven the car.

Gatsby's yellow car

Judging Tom Buchanan

I’ve been trying to reason with myself, what a decent man must have felt when his mistress died brutally after being hit by his wife, and the wife didn’t even try to stop the car (I’m reasoning about Tom, of course). What would he do? I think the normal reaction would be raging. He’d be really angry with his wife for acting so cowardly, “Look at what you’ve done, you’ve killed her, and why, for God’s sake, didn’t you stop, at least to see if there’s something you could help?” If he really loved his mistress, for a moment he’d felt that way. But if he (still) loved his wife too, he should have calmed her down and taken her to the Wilson’s to tell him the truth; that it was an accident. I believe he—being rich—would be able to settle things in peace with his money or perhaps his connections. Of course he would have tried to safe his wife, but a decent man would certainly NOT ‘intimately conspiring’ with his wife to put the blame on another man!—like Tom Buchanan did. No, I think Tom just thought of his own safety, he won’t think it would lower himself if he put himself in Gatsby’s protection, the man whose wealth he insulted as ‘new money’.

Did Gatsby love Daisy?

In the beginning of chapter 7, I was wondering whether Gatsby really loved Daisy, or was it merely an illusory love? But if it had been that, it would have gone as quickly as he realized that he had lost the battle (with Tom), that Daisy had slipped from his grasp. It makes sense also to think that Gatsby—in spite of his real lost—still kept a slight hope to win again (in a way, I admire Gatsby’s persistency in pursuing his dream; if only he’d been pursuing a more valuable and real dream…). But by sacrificing himself in covering up for Daisy’s fault, it could mean that G still loved Daisy; even though he won’t win her heart, he’d sacrifice himself for her. So far, that’s what I think.

What made Tom suggesting to swap car with Gatsby?

What do you think? Tom is angry knowing that Daisy is flirting with Gatsby, he suggested them to go out, but he suggested swapping car with Gatsby, he’d drive Gatsby’s yellow car, and let Gatsby drive his coupé. Why? Did he want to taunt Gatsby of what the real ‘old money’ is (the coupé)? Whatever the reason, I think the car swap has been the earliest cause of the whole tragedy....

This has occured to me too...what, do you think, did Myrtle want to do by running to the yellow car? Did she want to tell Tom (whom she thought mush have driven it) that her husband forced her to move away with  him, and ask him to save her? Or, did she want to berate Tom's wife?



  1. In your section on "Judging Tom Buchanan" I don't know if Tom ever really knew that Daisy hit Myrtle. I think he might have, but I also think he might have really thought Gatsby hit her and so he deserved the blame.

    1. Yeah, I've been wondering too. At first I thought it's naturally for Daisy to tell Tom the truth, but I might be wrong. At the end when Tom met Nick again, he still said that Gatsby had hit Myrtle, but I still can't guess whether he's just putting the blame on Gatsby, or he really thought it was Gatsby.

  2. Eh, tapi Tom gatau kan kalo si Daisy yang nabrak? bener juga konklusi yg 'sebenarnya Myrtle yg nyamperin mobil Tom', sy ga kepikiran kesitu, hi2.

    sorry, i can't speak english :)

    1. Nah, aku jadi mikir, waktu Nick ngintip Tom dan Daisy sedang "intimately conspiring" di rumahnya, apakah tak mungkin Daisy mengakui bahwa dia yang sebenarnya menyetir? Dan kalau bukan karena takut, mengapa Tom & Daisy cepat2 "kabur" dan pindah? Itu hanya dugaanku saja sih. Kalau tentang Myrtle, aku yakin deh, karena dia kan cemburu ketika melihat Tom & Jordan dari jendela lantai atas itu (Jordan dikira istri Tom), mungkin Myrtle panik karena Tom sudah kembali ke istrinya, padahal Wilson mau mengajak dia pindah.

  3. i thought myrtle wants to talk to Tom, not to berate Daisy. didn't Myrtle thought Jordan as Tom's wife when Tom, Nick & Jordan drove Gatsby's yellow car?

    1. Yes, I believe it too. Myrtle was panic at that time because Wilson forces her to move; her only hope is on Tom, but then she sees Tom is getting back to his wife. That's why she just flies to the car like a mad woman.


What do you think?