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Chapter 5

After listening to Jordan's story about the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy, Nick returns to his West Egg home and sees that Gatsby's house is all lit up. Gatsby is reluctant to ask Nick if he has talked to Jordan, but after teasing Gatsby a little by remaining silent, Nick finally tells him that he has talked to Jordan and that he is willing to invite Daisy over. Gatsby tries to hide his excitement and wants Nick to feel that it's not that big of a deal to him, even though Nick knows that Gatsby will want everything to be perfect on the day of her visit.
When the day comes, a hard rain is bearing down on West Egg, Gatsby becomes anxious and begins to worry that she won't come because she is late. Daisy finally arrives, and she and Gatsby immediately recognize each other, but there is initial awkwardness between the two of them. She tells Gatsby that she is thrilled to see him again, but Gatsby tries to play it cool and casually says that they may have met before. Sensing the tension between them, and not wanting to play a bigger part in Gatsby's twisted plot, Nick leaves them alone, and when he returns to the living room, the rain has stopped, the sun is shining, Gatsby is glowing, and even though Daisy is crying, she, too, seems happy.
Gatsby takes them both over to his house, and Daisy is amazed by its size and beauty. Her amazement thrills Gatsby, and he excitedly shows them all his extravagant rooms, clothes, and possessions. Daisy, who is overcome by emotions, begins to sob loudly as she is admiring his French shirts because she says that she had never seen anything so beautiful before - but let's remember that Daisy isn't exactly the sharpest pencil in the box. Nick, watching Daisy and Gatsby skeptically, asks Gatsby where all his money had come from, and Gatsby tells him that he had been in the drug and oil business but was in neither business now. Nick notices a picture of a man on his dresser, and Gatsby tells him that Dan Cody had been his mentor while he was growing up.
While Gatsby is giving Nick and Daisy a tour of his house, Nick notices that he is walking in a sort of trance, looking at his house through Daisy's eyes and realizing that in her presence, none of it actually had any meaning - once she became real to him, none of his material possessions meant anything to him. Even though Nick fears that they are afraid to be alone together, he also realizes that Gatsby, a man with an unparalleled ability to aspire and achieve, had dedicated his whole life to capturing Daisy, and Gatsby believed that he had finally fulfilled his dream. What Gatsby had fallen in love with was the goal of capturing Daisy, rather than her actual capture - his ability to aspire is so limitless that he thrives off of the thrill of the hunt. Nick finally leaves the two of them alone when he realizes that they were too wrapped up in their vision of their love to notice his presence.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9


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