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Major Events in The Great Gatsby
Transcript of Major Events in The Great Gatsby
project by Mary Chalmers
Introduction of Gatsby
Reunion of Gatsby and Daisy
Confrontation between Tom and Gatsby
The Car Accident
"I as looking at an elegant young roughneck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd. Some time before he introduced himself I'd got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care" (Fitzgerald 48).
"For half a minute there wasn't a sound. Then from the living-room I heard a sort of choking murmur and part of a laugh, followed by Daisy's voice on a clear artificial note:
'I certainly am awfully glad to see you again'" (Fitzgerald 86).
"'I want to know what Mr. Gatsby has to tell me.'
'Your wife doesn't love you,' said Gatsby. 'She's never loved you. She loves me.'
'You must be crazy!' exclaimed Tom automatically.
Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement.
'She never loved you, do you hear?'" (Fitzgerald 130).
"The 'death car' as the newspapers called it, didn't stop; it came out of the gathering darkness, wavered tragically for a moment, and then disappeared around the next bend" (Fitzgerald 137).
"I tried to think about Gatsby then for a moment, but he was already too far away, and I could only remember, without resentment, that Daisy hadn't sent a message or a flower" (Fitzgerald 174).
Gatsby's introduction into the plot is very important because the story is centered around him. The strange first glimpse of him reaching out for a green light across the bay, the the party-goers' various rumors about his past, and Nick and Jordan's search for him lead up to Gatsby's some what unexpected and delayed introduction. The build up serves to represent the mystery that seems to always surround Gatsby.
Gatsby and Daisy's encounter at tea is significant because Gatsby has meticulously built his life around the possibility of one day being reunited with the girl he fell in love with five years ago. Gatsby is so incredibly lovestruck that he lets his guard down, allowing the reader a glimpse of what hides behind the extravagance.
Gatsby's fight with Tom is the beginning of Gatsby's downfall. After his perfect vision of Daisy finally telling Tom that she never loved him backfires, Gatsby lets his guard down in a fit of rage and shows a rather undesirable side of himself that he has tried very hard to cover up. By doing this, he essentially kills the man he has spent his life becoming and destroys any chance he had of creating a life with Daisy.
Myrtle, Tom's mistress, is hit and killed by Daisy as she is driving her and Gatsby back to Long Island. This traumatic event shows the integrity of Gatsby, who is willing to take the blame for killing Myrtle, while also revealing the cowardice of Daisy, who retreats back into her comfortable mansion in East Egg. Even though Gatsby does not realize it, this event represents the last time Daisy will be a part of his life, and he still protects and loves her.
Gatsby's death is significant because it represents the horrible end to the dream that he built his life around, even though in a way he already "died" when he lost his chance with Daisy after the fight with Tom. Sadly, Gatsby's death and funeral were lonely and lacked any sign of Daisy, emphasizing the fact that his extravagant dream was over.