In Chapter VII, what foreshadows trouble at Gatsby's mansion?  What causes Mr. Wilson's sickness?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter VII, Gatsby shuts down his parties, he no longer needs to have them now that he has a direct link to Daisy.  The parties were only to lure Daisy so that he could see her.  He has dismissed his servants so that they won't gossip about his relationship with Daisy.  He has replaced his servants with thugs that work for Meyer Wolfshiem.

In this chapter, the group goes to NYC together to get away from the heat.  Tom is itching for a fight.  On the way back from Long Island, Daisy is driving Gatsby's car and she accidently runs over a woman who is in the road, that woman is Myrtle, Tom her husband's lover.  Daisy does not know who the woman is, but the car does not really stop, Gatsby is afraid for Daisy, so he decides that he will take the blame for the accident if it is discovered.

Gatsby still thinks that Daisy needs protection, he thinks that she is the innocent girl from his past, but Daisy is a survivor, Gatsby has set himself up for retribution at this point, because Tom is so ready to fight with Gatsby, so when he learns that Myrtle was the victim of a car accident and that she is dead, and is confronted by Mr. Wilson, who thinks that it was Tom's car, because Tom had brought Gatsby's car to his gararge, Wilson is insane with grief.

Mr. Wilson is sick with grief over the death of his wife and the fact that the car did not stop.  He had just discovered that his wife was having a torrid affair and he believes that the person who ran his wife over in the road was her lover.

Even though Daisy has put Gatsby at risk with her actions behind the wheel, and Gatsby shows great concern for her, she abandons him and Nick finds her and Tom eating fried chicken in the kitchen like nothing happened.

Gatsby believes that Daisy will leave Tom and run into his arms, especially now that he has decided to take the blame for the accident.  But this does not happen, while Gatsby waits in the bushes in case Daisy calls out for help, it is clear to the reader that Daisy is done with him, she never intended to leave her husband, she used Gatsby to make herself feel special, and to take revenge on her cheating husband.

Mr. Wilson becomes so enraged in addition to his overwhelming grief over his wife's death that he decides to take drastic action against Gatsby who he believes was driving the car that killed his wife.

"Full of anger and frustration about his wife's disloyalty, Wilson acts on his impulses and kills someone who is just as much a victim of the Buchanans as he. According to Nick, “he was a blonde, spiritless man, anemic, and faintly handsome. When he saw us … hope sprang into his light blue eyes.” He is a true product of the wasteland between the suburban world of wealth and New York City."


conmiro | Student

Actually what causes Mr. Wilson's sickness is the following from the book, in reference to Mr. Wilson:


"He had discovered that Myrtle had some sort of life apart from him in another world, and the shock had made him physically sick."(p.124)

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The Great Gatsby

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