Homework Help

Could you please tell me the literal and metaphorical meaning of "casually put away" in...

user profile pic

coutelle | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM via web

dislike 1 like

Could you please tell me the literal and metaphorical meaning of "casually put away" in the first chapter of The Great Gatsby?

They were here—and they accepted Tom and me, making only a polite pleasant effort to entertain or to be entertained. They knew that presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening too would be over and casually put away. It was sharply different from the West where an evening was hurried from phase to phase toward its close in a continually disappointed anticipation or else in sheer nervous dread of the moment itself.

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

user profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 17, 2013 at 10:13 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

In Chapter One Nick Carraway introduces the reader to the Buchanans and Jordan Baker, the stereotypical flapper of the Twenties. Jaded, she and Daisy take little interest in others who are inconsequential, such as Nick. They were here, "Making only a polite pleasant effort to entertain or be entertained." So, when dinner is finished, they simply wait for the evening to end and be "casually put away." In other words, there is no significance to this particular evening and its guest about whom they are completely unconcerned. The evening will be forgotten.

That Daisy and Jordan are blase is evident from their previous behavior and conversations. Jordan languorously reclines on the couch and is too indolent to even accompany Daisy to New York City; similarly, Daisy sits with Jordan, "their hands set lightly on their hips" in a somewhat petulant manner as they emit meaningless comments such as Daisy's

"Do you always watch for the longest day of the yer and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."

Clearly, these words denote Daisy's careless, uncaring attitude about time and her foolish, decadent life. Each day is "causally" put away because it is inconsequential. These "casually" ended days are figuratively forgettable, one as meaningless as the next.  

 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes