Tom, Mr. Sloane, and a young lady visit Gatsby home. The lady then invites Gatsby to come to dinner with them. What does Gatsby's response tell us about his social sensitivity? What connection, if...
Tom, Mr. Sloane, and a young lady visit Gatsby home. The lady then invites Gatsby to come to dinner with them.
What does Gatsby's response tell us about his social sensitivity? What connection, if any, do you think this scene might have with Gatsby's love for Daisy?
In Chapter 6, Tom Buchanan, Mr. Sloane, and a young woman arrive at Gatsby's home on horseback and briefly stop at his mansion for something to drink during their ride. After Gatsby invites Tom to dinner, the woman cordially invites Nick and Gatsby over to her home for supper. However, Mr. Sloane is a haughty man who does not approve of having Gatsby over for dinner and Jay does not take the hint. When Gatsby goes inside his home to get ready, Tom expresses to Nick that he cannot believe that Gatsby is actually coming to dinner while Mr. Sloane and the woman begin to argue. Jay Gatsby's response to the woman's invitation suggests that he is socially naive and innocent. He believed that her invitation was genuine, which is why he was preparing to go. He does not come from an aristocratic background and does not understand the social formalities of the upper class. Gatsby's motivation to attend the dinner may also have had something to do with seeing Daisy. Gatsby may have hoped to see Daisy at dinner since Tom Buchanan was obviously attending.
In our society we have people who suffer from mental or physical disabilities. This scene demonstrates another disability at work, social disability. Gatsby is not a good reader of people or their intentions. He doesn't get the hint... several hints, and it shows.
I think Gatsby is indeed paralyzed by his love for Gatsby and a chance to see her would indeed be great, but he may also want to be socially accepted. That would be an additional feature to have in order to demonstrate worthiness to Daisy. Here, he is awkward in and among a group of people. His parties aren't awkward... but perhaps that's because he doesn't engage with the people.
I think that this scene is meant in part to show that Gatsby is not very socially sensitive. Tom points out, once Gatsby is not in the scene, that the invitation was not really sincere. However, Gatsby does not seem to realize this.
However, I think the scene has more to do with Gatsby's obsession with Daisy. Gatsby has been hoping, of course, to find a way to casually meet up with Daisy again. He has been hoping to show her that he has become rich and worthy of her. Therefore, he will do anything (even if it is expensive or socially awkward) to try to meet her again.