Chapter 4-6: Gatsby’s Request
Aim: In this 30-minute lesson, you will go over the part 4-6 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 next April Daisy had her little girl and they went to France for a year. I saw them one spring in Cannes and later in Deauville and then they came back to Chicago to settle down. Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn’t drink. It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care. Perhaps Daisy never went in for amour at all–and yet there’s something in that voice of hers. . . .
Well, about six weeks ago, she heard the name Gatsby for the first time in years. It was when I asked you–do you remember?–if you knew Gatsby in West Egg. After you had gone home she came into my room and woke me up, and said “What Gatsby?” and when I described him–I was half asleep–she said in the strangest voice that it must be the man she used to know. It wasn’t until then that I connected this Gatsby with the officer in her white car.
What did Tom and Daisy do after having their little girl?
When Jordan Baker had finished telling all this we had left the Plaza for half an hour and were driving in a Victoria through Central Park. The sun had gone down behind the tall apartments of the movie stars in the West Fifties and the clear voices of girls, already gathered like crickets on the grass, rose through the hot twilight:
“I’m the Sheik of Araby,
Your love belongs to me.
At night when you’re are asleep,
Into your tent I’ll creep—-“
“It was a strange coincidence,” I said.
“But it wasn’t a coincidence at all.”
“Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”
Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.
“He wants to know–” continued Jordan “–if you’ll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over.”
What was Gatsby’s request for Nick?
The modesty of the demand shook me. He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths so that he could “come over” some afternoon to a stranger’s garden.
“Did I have to know all this before he could ask such a little thing?”
“He’s afraid. He’s waited so long. He thought you might be offended. You see he’s a regular tough underneath it all.” Something worried me.
What about Gatsby’s request shocked Nick?
“Why didn’t he ask you to arrange a meeting?”
“He wants her to see his house,” she explained. “And your house is right next door.”
“I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night,” went on Jordan, “but she never did. Then he began asking people casually if they knew her, and I was the first one he found. It was that night he sent for me at his dance, and you should have heard the elaborate way he worked up to it. Of course, I immediately suggested a luncheon in New York–and I thought he’d go mad:
“‘I don’t want to do anything out of the way!’ he kept saying. ‘I want to see her right next door.’ “When I said you were a particular friend of Tom’s he started to abandon the whole idea. He doesn’t know very much about Tom, though he says he’s read a Chicago paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy’s name.”
Why is Gatsby so careful to set up a meeting with Daisy?
It was dark now, and as we dipped under a little bridge I put my arm around Jordan’s golden shoulder and drew her toward me and asked her to dinner. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking of Daisy and Gatsby any more but of this clean, hard, limited person who dealt in universal skepticism and who leaned back jauntily just within the circle of my arm. A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
“And Daisy ought to have something in her life,” murmured Jordan to me.
“Does she want to see Gatsby?”
“She’s not to know about it. Gatsby doesn’t want her to know. You’re just supposed to invite her to tea.”
What was Nick’s initial reaction to Gatsby’s request? How has it changed?
We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninth Street, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park. Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs and so I drew up the girl beside me, tightening my arms. Her wan, scornful mouth smiled and so I drew her up again, closer, this time to my face.
- Why was Nick so surprised by Gatsby’s request?
- Why was Gatsby so careful to set up a meeting with Daisy?
- Have you ever wanted something so badly (even if that something may not mean much to others) that you went the extra mile to get it? Share your experience with your Cambly tutor!
Do you understand the following words and expressions? Practice using the new words or expressions with the Cambly tutor.
Sheik of Araby
“The Sheik of Araby” is a song that was written in 1921 by Harry B. Smith and Francis Wheeler, with music by Ted Snyder. It was composed in response to the popularity of the Rudolph Valentino feature film The Sheik. In 1926, to go with the film The Son of the Sheik, Ted Snyder worked parts of the melody into “That Night in Araby”, a related song with words by Billy Rose. “The Sheik of Araby” was a Tin Pan Alley hit, and was also adopted by early jazz bands, especially in New Orleans, making it a jazz standard. It was a well recognized part of popular culture.