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In Chapter 1 of "The Great Gatsby," what did Miss Baker tell Nick about Tom?

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pollin08 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 4, 2008 at 4:55 AM via web

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In Chapter 1 of "The Great Gatsby," what did Miss Baker tell Nick about Tom?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:17 AM (Answer #1)

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Jordan Baker told Nick that "Tom's got some woman in New York".

Upon receiving a message from the butler, Tom had left the room without a work, and Daisy had excused herself soon after.  Jordan and Nick could hear "a subdued impasisoned murmur...in the room beyond", and Jordan shamelessly expressed her desire to eavesdrop on what Tom and Daisy were saying.  She told Nick to be quiet so she could hear better, and told him briefly about the rumored existence of Tom's mistress.  She had thought everybody knew about it, and comments that "she might have the decency not to telephone him at dinner time...don't you think" (Chapter 1).

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cheriew | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:41 AM (Answer #2)

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In this scene, Nick is reunited with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband and is introduced to Jordan. The colors associated with the fashionable East Egg are white and gold, suggesting wealth and beauty; however, all is not well in paradice.   Dinner is interupted when the telephone rings, and Tom is called from the room to answer it. When Daisy follows him out, Jordan Baker confides to Nick that the call is from Tom's 'woman' in New York.

The rest of the evening is awkward and painful as Tom and Daisy try unsuccessfully to forget the intrusion.  Nick's words from earlier on in the chapter echo in our ears, "... what foul dust floated in the wake of his [Gatsby's]dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men."  The reader starts to get the sense that under the thin veneer of the white world, there is hollowness. Even in this opening chapter, we are getting hints that Tom and Daisy are part of this 'foul dust'.

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