How does Fitzgerald use the heat of the summer to create the mood in Chapter 7?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 7, on the hottest day of the summer, Nick, Gatsby, Daisy, Jordan, and Tom all go to New York City and rent the parlor of a suite at the Plaza. The oppressive heat of the day helps enhance the mood of tension that exists among the characters. Even opening the window "admitted only a gust of hot shrubbery from the park" (page 126). In this stifling environment, Tom attacks Gatsby, accusing him of lying about having attended Oxford. Gatsby retorts with a plausible explanation that he went to Oxford on a short program for former servicemen, but then Tom accuses Gatsby of being a bootlegger. Daisy's love towards Gatsby starts to cool just as the heat of the afternoon is oppressively high. When the party breaks up and they drive home (with Gatsby and Daisy in the same car), they hear that Myrtle has been killed. The heat of the afternoon is symbolic of the anger that exists among the characters in this chapter.

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The Great Gatsby

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