Homework Help

Do you think that in this passage of the chapter Four of The Great Gatsby "called up"...

coutelle's profile pic

Posted via web

dislike 0 like

Do you think that in this passage of the chapter Four of The Great Gatsby "called up" means "telephoned" or "visited" ?

As the waiter brought my change I caught sight of Tom Buchanan across the crowded room.
“Come along with me for a minute,” I said; “I’ve got to say hello to someone.” 
When he saw us Tom jumped up and took half a dozen steps in our direction.
“Where’ve you been?” he demanded eagerly. “Daisy’s furious because you haven’t called up.”


"Call up"

1.   Summon to military service, as in He was called up for active duty. [Late 1600s]
2.   Cause to remember, bring to mind, as in These stories call up old times. [c. 1700] Also see call to mind.
3.   Telephone someone, as in I'll call up the theater and find out about tickets. [Late 1800s]
4.   Retrieve data from a computer memory, as in I asked him to call up the last quarter's sales figures. [Second half of 1900s]

2 Answers | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

Posted (Answer #2)

dislike 2 like

Although Tom Buchanan does not originate from New England, he has adopted some of the expressions, and "called up" is one of them. It is similar to a British phrase "ring up," meaning to phone someone. 

As Nick pays the bill for lunch with Gatsby and Meyer Wolfscheim, he sees Tom Buchanan jumping up and taking big steps towards towards him and Gatsby. Tom seems happy to see Nick, but Gatsby is uncomfortable when introduced to him. Certainly, there is an irony to Tom's words that Daisy is "furious because you haven't called up" [telephoned her] because she was furious for another reason when the phone rang in Chapter One--"a fifth guest's shrill metallic urgency." And, there is also an irony to Tom's seeing Nick since he may "jumped up" because he is with someone else on Forty-second Street in New York City. After all, he asks Nick, "How'd you happen to come up this far to eat?"  


Top Answer

rahelb's profile pic

Posted (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

I believe that in the passage that the phrase "called up" means to visit. It was classically used to mean to visit someone at their home for a short visit.

Also, there are several instances of the neighbors of West Egg and neighboring communities visiting others at their homes. For example, later in Chapter 6 of the novel, Tom is upset because Daisy has gone to visit Gatsby alone at Gatsby's home. She had made a habit of it to the point where in the same chapter Tom keeps an eye on Daisy at Gatsby's party.

Tom has also made brief visits to Gatsby's home in the book, continuing the pattern of short visits to a person's home, which is one of the definitions of "called up".


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes