In the Great Gatsby, chapter 5 page 57 contains some descriptions of facial expressions and physical posture--discuss what they suggest.F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter Five's arranged meeting of Daisy with Jay Gatsby at Nick's house is strained and artificial from the beginning. After Daisy arrives, Gatsby enters Nick's house "\

pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets...glaring tragically into [Nick's eyes].

Dressed in a white flannel suit with a silver shirt and gold shirt--symbolic of his new wealth-- he positions himself in a "strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom...." It is apparent that he, like Daisy who sits "frightened but graceful" on the edge of a chair. Awkwardly, Gatsby leans against the clock that tilts "dangerously at the pressure of his head," and Gatsby turns, catches it, and replaces it nervously on the mantle.  Again like a young man, as Nick leaves the room, Jay Gatsby follows him "wildly" into the kitchen; when the door closes, he whispers, "Oh, God!...This is a terrible mistake," acknowledging the appropriateness of this situation. Clearly, Gatsby and Daisy act like teens on a first date out of their agitation, nervousness, and guilt as well as the futility of trying to recapture the past.

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The Great Gatsby

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