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 5? "We went in. To my overwhelming surprise the living room was deserted. ‘Well, that’s funny!’ I exclaimed. ‘What’s funny?’ She turned her head as there was a light, dignified knock-ing at the front door. I went out and opened it. Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes."

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In chapter 5, Nick follows Gatsby's instructions by inviting his cousin Daisy over for tea in order to reintroduce her to Gatsby. Typically, Jay Gatsby is a composed, self-assured man who beams with confidence and charisma. However, the thought of meeting Daisy after five years significantly influences Gatsby's mental state and personality. On the day of their meeting, it pours rain, and Gatsby is extremely nervous. Just before Daisy arrives, Gatsby exclaims that she is not coming and silently leaves Nick's home when he goes to answer the door. When Nick lets Daisy into his home, he is astonished to find the living room deserted. Nick responds by saying "Well, that's funny!" before hearing a knock at the door. Nick narrates,

She turned her head as there was a light, dignified knocking at the front door. I went out and opened it. Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes." (Fitzgerald, 92)

Nick's description illustrates the significance of the moment to Gatsby, who has focused all of his time and energy into meeting Daisy again. Gatsby is overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, and trepidation. His pale, terrified appearance reflects his strong emotions for Daisy and the fear of ruining his dream. This is the first time Nick sees Gatsby as a real person. Gatsby cannot hide his emotions and is visibly shaken by the suspense of meeting Daisy. She evidently has a strong influence over his emotions, and Gatsby cannot maintain his composure.

Daisy is also quite shaken when she sees Gatsby for the first time and struggles to compose herself. Nick ends up leaving his home to allow Gatsby and Daisy to get reacquainted, and the tension in the room has significantly diminished by the time he comes back inside.