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At the beginning of Chapter 5 ofThe Great Gatsby, Gatsby's house is lit up but there is no party. He asks Nick to go to Coney Island and then swimming. When Nick refuses, he tells Gatsby he's set up a potential meeting for tea at his house where Gatsby and Daisy can reunite. The tone shifts from mundane to anxious when Gatsby abruptly becomes apprehensive at the idea, having waited years to see Daisy again. Reluctant to meet with her, Gatsby makes excuses, saying he needs to have the grass cut, when it clearly does not need cut.
When Gatsby shows up the next day for tea, he is still feeling nervous and awkward at the prospect of meeting Daisy. Daisy shows up and he pulls Nick aside and says it was a terrible mistake. Nick scolds him. Then, Nick waits a while before checking on the awkward Gatsby and the calm but bewildered Daisy. When he reunites with them, he finds the situation completely changed:
Daisy’s face was smeared with tears, and when I came in she jumped up and began wiping at it with her handkerchief before a mirror. But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding. He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room.
Gatsby went from scared little boy to the confident Gatsby known to all the social elites. Now, revelling in the joy of being reunited with Daisy, Gatsby shows off his house and brags about his celebrated friends.
The tone went from anxiousness to joy to deflation. This third state is born out of relief but is also somewhat of a letdown since his quest for Daisy, which he has spent years preparing for, has seemingly come to an end. He is happy but it is a bit anticlimactic because he had idealized Daisy for so long. It is difficult for anyone to live up to such an ideal.
He had passed visibly through two states and was entering upon a third. After his embarrassment and his unreasoning joy he was consumed with wonder at her presence. He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an overwound clock.
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