Describe The Meeting Of Tom And Gatsby

In Great Gatsby, what does the meeting between Tom and Gatsby reveal about them?  How did Gatsby measure the success of his party?

Chapter 6

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Tom and Gatsby meet when Tom and two friends drop in at Gatsby's house on horseback to get a drink.  Gatsby greets them cordially, even though they are not interested in his company; refreshment "was all they came for".  Gatsby is at first flustered, recognizing Tom as Daisy's husband, and Tom doesn't remember meeting him before.  When Gatsby recovers from his surprise, he becomes bold, telling Tom "I know your wife".  One of the group invites Gatsby to join them for supper, but it is obvious Tom and the other visitor don't want him to accept.  Gatsby, oblivious to their animosity, prepares to go with them.

In this meeting, Tom is revealed as self-centered and rude. He has stopped by only because he wants a drink, and when Gatsby accepts the invitation to come along, he says, "My God, I believe the man's coming...doesn't he know she doesn't want him?"  Gatsby, not understanding that he is not wanted, is revealed as naive.  His singleminded and unrealistic obsession with Daisy also comes to light, as he "almost aggressively" begins the process of initiating his case with her husband.

Later, Gatsby considers his party a failure, because of Daisy's reaction.  His expectations are wildly unrealistic, however.  He "wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say 'I never loved you'" so that she could pick up with Gatsby again where they left off five years ago.