The Great Gatsby

Explain what takes place during Nick's visit to the Buchanan's home in Ch.1. Be specific!

Explain what takes place during Nick's visit to the Buchanan's home in Ch.1. Be specific! and why is it important?

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One night, Nick attends a dinner party in East Egg; the party is given by Tom Buchanan and his wife, Daisy. Daisy is Nick's cousin, while Tom was Nick's classmate at Yale. Tom comes from a wealthy, established family, and was a much-feared football player while at Yale. A friend of Daisy's is also in attendance. This woman, whose name is Jordan Baker, makes her living as a professional golfer. She has a frigid, boyish beauty and affects an air of extreme boredom.

Tom dominates the conversation at dinner; he wishes to propound ideas he has found in a book entitled "The Rise of the Colored Empires." This book espouses racist and white supremacist ideas, to which Tom wholeheartedly subscribes. When Tom abruptly leaves to take a phone call, Daisy declares that she has become terribly cynical and sophisticated since she and Nick last met. Her claims ring false, however ­ particularly when contrasted with the genuine cynicism of Jordan Baker, who languidly informs Nick that Tom's phone call is from his lover in New York. After his awkward visit with the Buchanans, Carraway goes home to West Egg.

The novel's characters are obsessed by class and privilege. Though Nick, like the Buchanans, comes from an elite background, the couple's relationship to their social position is entirely distinct to the narrator's. Tom Buchanan vulgarly exploits his status: he is grotesque, completely lacking redeeming features. His wife describes him as a "big, hulking physical specimen," and he seems to use his size only to dominate others. He has a trace of "paternal contempt" that instantly inspires hatred.

Daisy Buchanan stands in stark contrast to her husband. She is frail and diminutive, and actually labors at being shallow. she laughs at every opportunity. Daisy is utterly transparent, feebly affecting an air of worldliness and cynicism. Though she breezily remarks that everything is in decline, she does so only in order to seem to agree with her husband. She and Jordan are dressed in white when Nick arrives, and she mentions that they spent a "white girl-hood" together; the ostensible purity of Daisy and Jordan stands in ironic contrast to their actual decadence and corruption.