Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Great Gatsby: The Eyes Have It


Long Island: East Egg to Manhattan
Chapter II delves into more location.  Location is everything.  This helpful map is located in my copy of The Great Gatsby.  I am familiar with the area of Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan because I am a New York native, however, I have never been to the north shore of Long Island.  I have been on the southern shore, yes, and I have heard of Great Neck, but I have never been. 

Here is another cool Gatsby map on Google suggested by Christina Joy @ A Classic Case of Madness: check it out!

This is a very uncomfortable chapter.  Tom takes Nick with him to meet his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, wife of George Wilson.  Of course, Tom and George know each other, and it is not strange to George when his wife leaves shortly after Tom and Nick.  George thinks Myrtle is going to her sister's place.

Instead, all three go out to an apartment in Manhattan (called New York, but it means the City).  Myrtle's sister Catherine is there, so I suppose in truth she is visiting her sister.  Catherine tells Nick that neither Myrtle nor Tom likes the person they are married to.  They should just "get a divorce and get married to each other right away."

Another couple is there, the McKee's, and the whole group is getting drunk, behaving obnoxiously, and sharing extremely personal information - at least from Nick's point of view.  You get the feeling that it is all very unpleasant for him.

The worst part is when an inebriated Myrtle taunts Tom by talking about his wife Daisy, and Tom warns her before breaking her nose.  It makes for a bad ending to a bad party.  Nick leaves. 

In this chapter, you want to start paying attention to all of the references to the eyes.  My initial feeling is that the eyes are the human conscience.  Let's see how it plays out.

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