The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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What aspects of Gatsby and Daisy are raised in this passage from chapter 7?  ‘Was she killed?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘I thought so; I told Daisy I thought so. It’s better that the shock should all come at once. She stood it pretty well.’ He spoke as if Daisy’s reaction was the only thing that mattered.

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Towards the end of chapter 7, Nick walks away from Tom Buchanan's home and hears someone call his name. Nick is surprised to find Jay Gatsby hiding in the bushes, keeping watch over the Buchanan household. Gatsby proceeds to ask Nick if he saw any trouble on the road and inquires if the woman who was hit by his car was killed. When Nick confirms that the woman is dead, Gatsby replies by saying,

"I thought so; I told Daisy I thought so. It’s better that the shock should all come at once. She stood it pretty well" (Fitzgerald, 153).

Gatsby's response illustrates his concern and admiration for Daisy Buchanan, who he is completely infatuated with and desires to marry. Gatsby's foremost concern is not the authorities, the reactions of the deceased woman's family, or his own role in the accident. Instead, Gatsby is entirely focused on how Daisy reacted to the traumatic incident. Gatsby's response also highlights Daisy's callous, selfish nature. Upon discovering that the woman she just ran over is dead, Daisy is able to maintain her composure and continue driving home. Gatsby mentioning that "She stood it pretty well" underscores Daisy's selfish, aloof personality. Daisy is too self-centered and cold to show sympathy for anyone other than herself and is perfectly content allowing Gatsby to take the blame for the accidental murder. Nick then mentions,

"He [Gatsby] spoke as if Daisy’s reaction was the only thing that mattered" (Fitzgerald, 153).

Nick's observation once again illustrates Gatsby's reverence and love for Daisy. Unfortunately, Daisy does not share the same feelings and is content living with her ignorant, arrogant husband simply because he is financially stable and well-off.

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