The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Quotes
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Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed, and I'd known Tom in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in Chicago. (1.15)
Oh, fun. Notice how Nick doesn't even say "the Buchanans," just the "Tom Buchanans"? This is evidence that the girl Gatsby was in love with—Daisy—no longer exists.
The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor. (1.27)
Ah, the sweet smell of foreshadowing. Here, Tom literally—or is it metaphorically?—deflates the women, just like (SPOILER) he's going to do later on.
At any rate, Miss Baker's lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly, and then quickly tipped her head back again—the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright. Again a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me. (1.32)
Complete self-sufficiency—or complete self-sufficiency from a woman? We get the feeling that Nick is half in love with and half repulsed by Jordan because he can't deal with the fact that, unlike Daisy, she doesn't need a man. After all, she's got a phallic symbol of her own: that golf club.