What do we learn about Daisy from chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby?
When he calls her and invites her to tea, as Gatsby had requested via the intermediary of Jordan Baker, he tells her not to bring Tom. She quickly counters, “Who is ‘Tom?'” and does not ask why at that moment. When she arrives at his house, she does ask why he wanted her to come alone, and teases him by suggesting that he might be in love with her. It is apparent that she welcomes the mystery.
There is also a sharp contrast between her amiable mood when she arrives, as Nick hears “the exhilarating ripple of her voice,” and her discomfort when Gatsby appears. She speaks in a “clear artificial tone” and Nick sees her “sitting, looking frightened but graceful.” Although Jay’s presence has shocked her, she does recover before he does. Before he leaves the two alone together, Nick manages to reassure him that she is as embarrassed as he is, and that things can still go well.
When Nick returns, he sees a transformation. Whereas he had not fully understood the extent of their previous closeness—relying only on Jordan’s narrative of events—he can now see that they mean a great deal to each other.
They were … looking at each other as if some question had been asked, or were in the air, and all vestige of embarrassment was gone.
When Jay speaks about the rain having ended, it is clear that both their emotional climates are sunny as well. Daisy is happy and, the reader soon learns, open to the renewed romance with Jay.
Her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty, told only of her unexpected joy.
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