Chapter 5-1: The Invitation
Aim: In this 30-minute lesson, you will go over the part 5-1 of the book. Go over comprehension questions after each paragraph, and practice using new expressions.
After saying hello, read the following part of the book out loud with the tutor.
When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire. Two o’clock and the whole corner of the peninsula was blazing with light which fell unreal on the shrubbery and made thin elongating glints upon the roadside wires. Turning a corner I saw that it was Gatsby’s house, lit from tower to cellar.
At first I thought it was another party, a wild rout that had resolved itself into “hide-and-go-seek” or “sardines-in-the-box” with all the house thrown open to the game. But there wasn’t a sound. Only wind in the trees which blew the wires and made the lights go off and on again as if the house had winked into the darkness. As my taxi groaned away I saw Gatsby walking toward me across his lawn.
What did Nick notice first when he returned to West Egg?
“Your place looks like the world’s fair,” I said.
“Does it?” He turned his eyes toward it absently. “I have been glancing into some of the rooms. Let’s go to Coney Island, old sport. In my car.”
“It’s too late.”
“Well, suppose we take a plunge in the swimming pool? I haven’t made use of it all summer.”
“I’ve got to go to bed.”
He waited, looking at me with suppressed eagerness.
“Oh, that’s all right,” he said carelessly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble.”
“What day would suit you?”
“What day would suit YOU?” he corrected me quickly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble, you see.”
“I want to get the grass cut,” he said.
What’s odd about Gatsby’s conduct?
We both looked at the grass–there was a sharp line where my ragged lawn ended and the darker, well-kept expanse of his began. I suspected that he meant my grass.
“There’s another little thing,” he said uncertainly, and hesitated.
“Would you rather put it off for a few days?” I asked.
“Oh, it isn’t about that. At least—-” He fumbled with a series of beginnings. “Why, I thought–why, look here, old sport, you don’t make much money, do you?”
“Not very much.”
This seemed to reassure him and he continued more confidently.
Why did Gatsby offered Nick’s grass to be cut?
“I thought you didn’t, if you’ll pardon my–you see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of sideline, you understand. And I thought that if you don’t make very much–You’re selling bonds, aren’t you, old sport?”
“Well, this would interest you. It wouldn’t take up much of your time and you might pick up a nice bit of money. It happens to be a rather confidential sort of thing.”
I realize now that under different circumstances that conversation might have been one of the crises of my life. But, because the offer was obviously and tactlessly for a service to be rendered, I had no choice except to cut him off there.
“I’ve got my hands full,” I said. “I’m much obliged but I couldn’t take on any more work.”
“You wouldn’t have to do any business with Wolfshiem.” Evidently he thought that I was shying away from the “gonnegtion” mentioned at lunch, but I assured him he was wrong. He waited a moment longer, hoping I’d begin a conversation, but I was too absorbed to be responsive, so he went unwillingly home.
Why didn’t Nick accept Gatsby’s offer?
The evening had made me light-headed and happy; I think I walked into a deep sleep as I entered my front door. So I didn’t know whether or not Gatsby went to Coney Island or for how many hours he “glanced into rooms” while his house blazed gaudily on. I called up Daisy from the office next morning and invited her to come to tea.
“Don’t bring Tom,” I warned her.
“Don’t bring Tom.”
“Who is ‘Tom’?” she asked innocently.
Do you understand the following words and expressions? Practice using the new words or expressions with the Cambly tutor.