The Great Gatsby

How does Myrtle react to Tom's arrival?


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Myrtle distinctly becomes excited over Tom's arrival. Though she is able to conceal her excitement outwardly, her body language speaks for her.... she smoulders. It is also important to notice her disregard for Wilson (her husband), as well as her condescending attitude toward him.

Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering. She smiled slowly and, walking through her husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands with Tom, looking him flush in the eye. Then she wet her lips, and without turning around spoke to her husband in a soft, coarse voice:

“Get some chairs, why don’t you, so somebody can sit down.”


The Great Gatsby