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How does Nick meet Tom's mistress in The Great Gatsby?

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s020112

Posted April 17, 2013 at 5:21 AM via web

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How does Nick meet Tom's mistress in The Great Gatsby?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM (Answer #1)

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Tom expressly invites Nick along on a trip to New York City so that he can meet Myrtle, his mistress. This trip takes place in the novel's second chapter. 

On the way to the city Tom and Nick stop at Wilson's garage. 

Tom and Nick arrive at the auto garage of George Wilson. Wilson and Tom exchange comments about a car Tom may sell. Tom arranges for Wilson’s wife Myrtle to take the next train to New York for a romantic tryst.

It is no accident that Tom introduces Nick to Myrtle. He goes out of his way to demonstrate his life-style and his adultery to Nick. We can see this as "showing off" and it is indicative of Tom's personality. Not only is he unashamed of the fact that he is cheating on his wife (Nick's cousin), he is down-right proud of the power he has over Myrtle and he wants Nick to know all about it.

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