Chapter 5-3: The Broken Clock

Chapter 5-3: The Broken Clock

Aim: In this 30-minute lesson, you will go over the part 5-3 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.

The.Great.Gatsby.2013.720p.BluRay.x264.YIFY_Jan 9, 2016, 3.23.38 PMGatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom. His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy who was sitting frightened but graceful on the edge of a stiff chair.

The.Great.Gatsby.2013.720p.BluRay.x264.YIFY_Jan 20, 2016, 12.04.31 PM“We’ve met before,” muttered Gatsby. His eyes glanced momentarily at me and his lips parted with an abortive attempt at a laugh. Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers and set it back in place. Then he sat down, rigidly, his elbow on the arm of the sofa and his chin in his hand.

“I’m sorry about the clock,” he said.

My own face had now assumed a deep tropical burn. I couldn’t muster up a single commonplace out of the thousand in my head.

“It’s an old clock,” I told them idiotically.

I think we all believed for a moment that it had smashed in pieces on the floor.

Why does Nick say ‘[his] own face had now assumed a deep tropical burn’?

“We haven’t met for many years,” said Daisy, her voice as matter-of-fact as it could ever be.

“Five years next November.”

The.Great.Gatsby.2013.720p.BluRay.x264.YIFY_Jan 9, 2016, 3.25.19 PMThe automatic quality of Gatsby’s answer set us all back at least another minute. I had them both on their feet with the desperate suggestion that they help me make tea in the kitchen when the demoniac Finn brought it in on a tray.

Amid the welcome confusion of cups and cakes a certain physical decency established itself. Gatsby got himself into a shadow and while Daisy and I talked looked conscientiously from one to the other of us with tense unhappy eyes. However, as calmness wasn’t an end in itself I made an excuse at the first possible moment and got to my feet.

Describe the meeting. Are Gatsby and Daisy happy to see each other again?

“Where are you going?” demanded Gatsby in immediate alarm.

“I’ll be back.”

“I’ve got to speak to you about something before you go.”

He followed me wildly into the kitchen, closed the door and whispered:

“Oh, God!” in a miserable way.

“What’s the matter?”

“This is a terrible mistake,” he said, shaking his head from side to side, “a terrible, terrible mistake.”

“You’re just embarrassed, that’s all,” and luckily I added: “Daisy’s embarrassed too.”

“She’s embarrassed?” he repeated incredulously.

“Just as much as you are.”

“Don’t talk so loud.”

“You’re acting like a little boy,” I broke out impatiently. “Not only that but you’re rude. Daisy’s sitting in there all alone.”

He raised his hand to stop my words, looked at me with unforgettable reproach and opening the door cautiously went back into the other room.The.Great.Gatsby.2013.720p.BluRay.x264.YIFY_Jan 9, 2016, 3.26.09 PM

Describe the meeting. Are Gatsby and Daisy happy to see each other again?

I walked out the back way–just as Gatsby had when he had made his nervous circuit of the house half an hour before–and ran for a huge black knotted tree whose massed leaves made a fabric against the rain. Once more it was pouring and my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby’s gardener, abounded in small muddy swamps and prehistoric marshes. There was nothing to look at from under the tree except Gatsby’s enormous house, so I stared at it, like Kant at his church steeple, for half an hour. A brewer had built it early in the “period” craze, a decade before, and there was a story that he’d agreed to pay five years’ taxes on all the neighboring cottages if the owners would have their roofs thatched with straw. Perhaps their refusal took the heart out of his plan to Found a Family–he went into an immediate decline. His children sold his house with the black wreath still on the door. Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.

The.Great.Gatsby.2013.720p.BluRay.x264.YIFY_Jan 9, 2016, 3.26.14 PMAfter half an hour the sun shone again and the grocer’s automobile rounded Gatsby’s drive with the raw material for his servants’ dinner‚ÄîI felt sure he wouldn’t eat a spoonful. A maid began opening the upper windows of his house, appeared momentarily in each, and, leaning from a large central bay, spat meditatively into the garden. It was time I went back. While the rain continued it had seemed like the murmur of their voices, rising and swelling a little, now and then, with gusts of emotion. But in the new silence I felt that silence had fallen within the house too.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is symbolic of Gatsby almost breaking the clock on the mantelpiece?
  2. What is the weather like in this chapter? How does it reflect on the emotional climate of Gatsby and Daisy?
  3. Symbolism can take different forms. Generally, it is an object representing another to give it an entirely different meaning that is much deeper and more significant. Sometimes, however, an action, an event or a word spoken by someone may have a symbolic value. What symbols does Fitzgerald use in The Great Gatsby? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!

VOCABULARY.

Do you understand the following words and expressions? Practice using the new words or expressions with the Cambly tutor.

 

This entry was posted in The Great Gatsby by Bell L. Bookmark the permalink.

About Bell L

Born in Korea, lived in 5 different continents / Cal + Crimson / Officially ‘lost in translation’ after having moved around so many continents and cities, but now I feel awesome about being lost / Designer by training, entrepreneur at heart

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