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In Which Chapter Does Fitzgerald Place The Climax Of The Great Gatsby, And Explain How He Does It

759 words - 4 pages

The reunion of Gatsby and Daisy is the novel's pivotal event; it sets all the subsequent events into inevitable motion. In Chapter VII, the story of their romance reaches its climax and its tragic conclusion.
Gatsby is profoundly changed by his reunion with Daisy: he ceases to throw his lavish parties and, for the first time, shows concern for his public reputation. In the past, Gatsby has simply ignored the vicious rumors circulating about him; for Daisy's sake, however, he must now exercise some discretion.
Daisy, by contrast, is extremely indiscreet with regard to her romance with Gatsby. Inviting Gatsby to lunch with her husband would be a bold, foolish move under any circumstances. ...view middle of the document...

Tom, for all his crudeness, possesses a subtle knowledge of his wife: he realizes that Daisy's innate snobbery is ultimately identical with his own. She would never desert her aristocratic husband for "a common bootlegger," regardless of the love she felt for the bootlegger in question. Daisy refuses to submit to Gatsby's pleas, and will not say that she has never loved Tom. Gatsby is ultimately unable to recapture his idyllic past; the past, the future, and Daisy herself ultimately belong to Tom.
The distinction between "old" and "new" money is crucial in this chapter. While Gatsby earned his fortune, Daisy is an aristocrat, a woman for whom wealth and privilege were available at birth. As Gatsby himself remarks, even her voice is "full of money." This is what he loves in Daisy's voice, and in Daisy herself: for Gatsby, Daisy represents the wealth and elegance for which he has yearned all his life. Gatsby thus loses Daisy for the same reason that he adores her: her patrician arrogance.
The introduction of Daisy's daughter provides incontestable proof of Gatsby's inability to annul the passage of time. He does not believe in the child's existence until actually confronted with her; even then, he regards her...

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