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The Great Gatsby “Gatsby?” asked Daisy urgently. “What Gatsby?” Could it be the same young army lieutenant whom Daisy Fay met five years ago – and who owns a sumptuous house on Long Island, where New York society enjoys the best parties on offer? Is it just coincidence that Gatsby lives across the bay from Daisy – now married to wealthy polo-player Tom Buchanan? As one man’s mysterious dream moves towards its ultimately tragic conclusion, Midwesterner Nick Carraway is drawn into the dark world of Gatsby’s past and present – a world of hidden frustrations and superficial relationships which perfectly illustrates the “careless and confused” nature of America’s Jazz Age. Scott Fitzgerald’s third novel was published in 1925 and has justifiably become a 20th century literary classic.

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD THE GREAT GATSBY

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD THE GREAT GATSBY

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby Adaptation and activities by Richard Larkham Illustrated by Rodolfo Brocchini

YOUNG ADULT

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The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Adaptation and activities by Richard Larkham Illustrated by Rodolfo Brocchini ELI Readers Founder and Series Editors Paola Accattoli, Grazia Ancillani, Daniele Garbuglia (Art Director) Graphic Design Sergio Elisei Layout NO CODE - Torino Production Manager Francesco Capitano Photo credits Corbis, Getty Images © 2011 ELI s.r.l. P.O. Box 6 62019 Recanati MC Italy T +39 071750701 F +39 071977851 info@elionline.com www.elionline.com Typeset in 11,5 / 15 pt Monotype Dante Printed in Italy by Tecnostampa Recanati – ERA503.01 ISBN 978-88-536-0666-2 First edition: March 2011 www.elireaders.com


Contents 6 Main Characters 8 Before you read 10 Chapter One Dinner at the Buchanans’ 20 Activities 24 Chapter Two A Trip to New York 34 Activities 38 Chapter Three The First Party 48 Activities 52 Chapter Four The Plan 62 Activities 66 Chapter Five The Reunion 76 Activities 80 Chapter Six Important Meetings 90 Activities 94 Chapter Seven Confrontation 104 Activities 108 Chapter Eight Chaos 118 Activities 122 Chapter Nine Seeing the Light 132 Activities 134 Focus on...

Scott and Zelda - a romance “beautiful and damned”

136 Focus on... 138 Focus on... 140 Focus on... 142 Test yourself 143 Syllabus 144 Other Titles

The Genesis of a Classic The Jazz Age How America joined The Great War

These icons indicate the parts of the story that are recorded start

stop


main Characters

Jordan Baker

Tom Buchanan

Jay Gatsby

Nick Carraway

‘Owl-eyes’

Henry Gatz

Dan Cody

Meyer Wolfsheim


Michaelis

Myrtle Wilson

George Wilson

Daisy Buchanan The McKees

Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Catherine

Ewing Klipspringer


Before you read

Vocabulary 1a Here are the titles of the 9 Chapters in this book – but not in the

right order! A Trip to New York • Confrontation • Seeing the Light • The Reunion • Chaos • Dinner at the Buchanans • The Plan • The First Party • Important Meetings Do they give you an idea of what type of story The Great Gatsby will be? Underline one or more of these categories: horror story • romance • tragedy • thriller • detective story • historical drama • western • comedy

1b If you know something about the story already (perhaps you’ve read the blurb on the back of this book or seen the film version), discuss what you know in pairs or groups.

2 The

Great Gatsby is set near New York City in the mid-1920s. It’s about the lives of very rich people and the parties that rich people go to. What words do you expect to find? Make a list in the chart below. NOUNS

ADJECTIVES

VERBS

Speaking 3

8

 he Great Gatsby is set in America in the 1920s. This period is T sometimes called “the Roaring Twenties”. Why do you think it was a “roaring” time? (If you look up the adjective “roaring” in the dictionary or online, it might help.) Discuss in pairs or groups.


Writing 4 Let’s focus on the characters we read about in Chapter 1. Underline the adjectives and adverbs which describe them and the way they interact, and then write the words you’ve found in the chart below. Nick ______________________________________________ Daisy ______________________________________________ Jordan ______________________________________________ Tom ______________________________________________ Gatsby ______________________________________________

Reading 5 Look at these sentences and decide whether they are true (T) or false (F). T F 1 Nick Carraway was born in New York City. ■ ■ 2 After he graduated, Nick went to Europe as a soldier. ■ ■ 3 When he came to Long Island, Nick rented a small house with a work colleague. ■ ■ 4 Daisy Buchanan is a relative of Nick’s. ■ ■ 5 Nick and Tom Buchanan went to the same university. ■ ■ 6 Dinner at the Buchanans was interrupted twice by a telephone call for Tom. ■ ■ 7 Daisy’s friend Jordan Baker is a tennis player. ■ ■ 8 Jordan didn’t know Gatsby when Nick talked about him. ■ ■

Speaking 6 In

this Chapter, one of the characters talks about “a beautiful little fool”. Identify who says this, and what they are referring to. Does this phrase have a wider meaning? (Think about what happens in Chapter 1 and what you think will happen in the rest of the book.)

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Chapter One

Dinner at the Buchanans’

2

When I was younger and more vulnerable, my father gave me some interesting advice. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he said, “just remember that not everybody is as lucky as you are.” That’s all he said - but I know he meant a lot more. I am a reserved person like my father and I understood him. I don’t judge too quickly, although my tolerance of people does have its limits. Last autumn I came back home from the East* and I wanted everybody to be morally perfect - I wanted no more partying, no more meeting people but never really knowing them. Only Gatsby, the central character of my story, escaped my demands: he was more successful, more sensitive, more hopeful than anyone I have ever met. He was all right in the end; the people around him were the ones who disgusted me. In this Midwestern city my family has been important for three generations, and my father’s hardware* business was started by his great-uncle back in the mid-19th century. People say that I look like my distant relative - even though I never met him. the East the nine states in the Northeastern region of the United States: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the six New England states

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hardware metal tools


The Great Gatsby

After graduating from Yale* in 1915, I served in The Great War. That experience made me restless and so on my return I decided to learn the bond* business and my father agreed to finance me for one year. That’s how, in the spring of 1922, I came East… permanently, I thought. I needed to find accommodation, so I was happy when a work colleague suggested we rent a house together in a nearby commuter* town. Unfortunately, at the last minute his company sent him to Washington and so I went to this simple old bungalow alone. I had a dog for a few days – before he ran away – an old Dodge car and a Finnish housekeeper. Then one day a man who was even more a newcomer than me asked for directions to West Egg village. When I told him, I suddenly felt like a guide, a part of the neighbourhood. The sunshine made me feel my life was beginning again: I bought a lot of books on banking and started reading as much as I had in college, with the intention of becoming a “well-rounded* man” again. I was renting in one of North America’s strangest communities. Long Island extends east of New York and around 20 miles from the city you find two unusual land formations, shaped like a pair of enormous eggs and separated by a small bay. I lived at the less fashionable West Egg, right at the end, 50 yards from the salt waters of Long Island Sound, and sandwiched between two gigantic houses. The one on the right was like a French town hall, with a tower on one side, a marble swimming pool and more than 40 acres of lawn Yale private university in Connecticut, founded in 1701 bond financial loan (repaid, with interest, in instalments)

commuter town person who travels a certain distance to work from where s/he lives ‘well-rounded’ (here) comprehensively educated, well-read

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and garden. This was Gatsby’s mansion… but I didn’t know him yet. From my own ugly house I could see the Sound and a part of his lawn, and I also had the comfort of knowing that I was surrounded by millionaires – all for 80 dollars a month! My acquaintance with the fashionable white palaces of East Egg began one summer evening when I drove there to have dinner with my distant cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom, whom I knew from college. Tom came from a wealthy Chicago family and had been a football hero at Yale. He and Daisy had lived in France for a year and had then come East for some unknown reason. Daisy said they were here to stay but I didn’t believe her. The reality was, I was going to have dinner with two old friends I hardly knew. Their house was a red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, with a line of French windows overlooking the bay. Tom was dressed in riding clothes and was standing in the sunshine on the front porch* – a sturdy man of 30, muscular, with an aggressive manner and a rough tenor voice. Although we had never been close friends, I think he had a good opinion of me and wanted me to like him. “I’ve got a nice place here,” he said in a restless tone, while pointing out the view to me. Then we went inside, to a rosy-colored drawingroom, where two young women sat at either end of an enormous couch*. I didn’t know the younger one but Daisy tried to get up and then laughed as I came hesitantly into the room. “I’m p-paralyzed with happiness,” she cried, holding my hand and looking into my face. She murmured the name Baker to indicate porch covered entrance couch sofa

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the other girl, who nodded* at me, and then she started to ask me questions. She looked sad and lovely and there was excitement in her voice. When I told her I had spent a day in Chicago on my way East and had met a dozen people who sent their love to her, she asked “Do they miss me?” “The whole town is desolate*,” I replied. “How wonderful! Let’s go back tomorrow, Tom!” Then she said abruptly, “You should see my baby, but she’s asleep. She’s three years old.” Meanwhile, Tom, who still seemed restless, put his hand on my shoulder and asked me what I was doing. “I’m a bond man,” I replied. When I told him the name of the company, he just said, “Never heard of them.” I was annoyed at that. “You will, if you stay in the East.” Tom looked at Daisy and said confidently, “Oh, I’ll stay in the East. I’d be foolish to live anywhere else.” Miss Baker said “Absolutely!” and then yawned* and stood up. “I’m stiff from lying so long on that sofa,” she complained. “Well, I’ve been trying to persuade you all afternoon to come with us to New York,” said Daisy. As cocktails arrived, Miss Baker added, “No, thanks. I’m in training.” “Really?” cried Tom in amazement. “I don’t know how you manage to do anything!” I looked at Miss Baker. She was slim and she stood like a young cadet. Her grey eyes looked back at me politely and I saw that she nodded (here) said hello silently, moving her head up and down desolate (here) extremely sad

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yawned opened her mouth wide, inhaling deeply (from boredom or tiredness or both)


The Great Gatsby

was not a happy person. I enjoyed looking at her and I was sure that I knew her from somewhere. “You live in West Egg,” she said in a superior tone. “I know somebody there.” “I don’t know any---” I started to say. “You must know Gatsby.” “Gatsby?” asked Daisy urgently. “What Gatsby?” I was about to say that he was my neighbor when dinner was announced. Tom took my arm and led me out of the room, while Daisy and Miss Baker walked calmly outside onto the porch, where four candles flickered on a table in the wind. Daisy put them out and said, “It’ll be the longest day of the year in two weeks’ time.” “We should plan something,” said Miss Baker, in a bored tone. Daisy turned to me. “What do people plan?” she asked, but before I could answer, she showed us her little finger. “Look! I hurt it.” We all looked at her knuckle*, which was black and blue. “You did it, Tom,” she said accusingly. “I know you didn’t mean to do it, but you DID do it! That’s the price I pay for marrying a brute* of a man – a big, hulking*, physical---” “I hate the word ‘hulking’,” interrupted Tom angrily, “even if you are joking.” “Hulking,” repeated Daisy. During dinner, Daisy and Miss Baker sometimes talked at the same time. It was always conversation without meaning – relaxed knuckle bony, protruding finger joint on the back of the hand brute (here) brutal, insensitive person

hulking very big, awkward-moving

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and with no passion. I realized that they were here simply to entertain or be entertained. “I feel uncivilized in your company, Daisy,” I told my cousin during my second glass of wine. “Can’t you talk about crops* or something?” “Civilization is collapsing!” Tom shouted. “I’ve become very pessimistic.” “Tom reads books with long words in them,” added Daisy, sadly, and Tom looked at her impatiently. The telephone rang inside the house and when the butler came outside and whispered in Tom’s ear, Tom frowned* and left the table. When he had gone, Daisy leaned forward. “I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a – of a rose. Doesn’t he?” She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation. Then suddenly she threw her napkin* down and went into the house. Before I could speak, Miss Baker said “Sh!” and tried to hear the murmuring inside. “This Mr Gatsby you mentioned is my neighbor---” I started to say. “Don’t talk. I want to hear what happens.” “Is something happening?” I asked innocently. “Don’t you know?” Miss Baker said with surprise. “I thought everybody knew. Tom’s got a woman in New York – and she doesn’t even respect his privacy at dinner time.” At that moment Tom and Daisy returned to the table. “Sorry about that,” cried Daisy with a kind of tense joy in her voice. “Isn’t it romantic outside, Tom?” “Very.” crops agricultural produce (eg. grain) frowned made lines on his forehead, from displeasure, disapproval or puzzlement

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napkin serviette (piece of cloth for the hands and mouth)


The Great Gatsby

Then the telephone rang again, startling* everybody, and Daisy shook her head at Tom. I can’t remember much of the last five minutes at the dinner table, only that the candles were lit for a second time and none of us looked directly at each other. All topics of conversation vanished into thin air. Tom and Miss Baker strolled back into the library and I followed Daisy to the porch at the front of the house. We sat down on a wicker* settee. Daisy held her face in her hands, I asked her about her little girl to try to calm her turbulent emotions. Suddenly she said, “We are cousins but we don’t know each other very well, Nick. You didn’t come to my wedding.” “I wasn’t back from the war.” “That’s true.” Then, after a hesitation: “I’ve had a bad time, Nick, and I’m quite cynical about everything.” There was an awkward silence and I returned to the subject of her daughter. “Nick,” she said, “would you like to know what I said when she was born?” “Very much.” “Tom was away – God knows where – and the baby was less than an hour old. I asked the nurse whether it was a boy or a girl and she said it was a girl. I cried. Then I said, ‘Well, I’m glad it’s a girl – and I hope she’ll be a fool. That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.’ Now you understand how I feel about things, Nick.” She finished with a mocking laugh: “God, I’m sophisticated!” and at that moment I felt her insincerity. startling making … very surprised wicker settee small sofa made of branches of willow tree

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Inside the house, Tom and Miss Baker sat at either end of a long couch. Miss Baker was reading aloud from a magazine but she stopped when Daisy and I came in. She stood up and announced that she was going to bed. “Jordan’s playing in the golf tournament at Westchester tomorrow,” Daisy said. “Oh – you’re JORDAN Baker,” I exclaimed. I remembered seeing her picture in various places. I had also heard an unpleasant story about her but that was a long time ago and I had forgotten the details. “Good night,” said Miss Baker. “See you again, Mr Carraway.” “Of course you will,” interrupted Daisy. “In fact, I think I’ll arrange a marriage. Come and visit us often, Nick, and I’ll throw you two together.” “Good night,” called Miss Baker from the stairs, “I haven’t heard a word!” “She’s a nice girl,” said Tom afterwards. Daisy added: “Nick’s going to look after her, aren’t you, Nick? She’s going to spend lots of weekends out here this summer.” “Is she from New York?” I asked. “From Louisville,” Daisy replied. “We spent our white girlhood together there.” Suddenly Tom demanded: “Daisy, did you have an intimate talk with Nick on the veranda?” “Did I?” Daisy looked at me. “I can’t seem to remember…” I started to say.

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The Great Gatsby

After a few minutes I got up to go home. Tom and Daisy came to the front door and stood side by side in the light. I started my motor and Daisy called out: “Wait! I forgot to ask you something important, Nick. We heard that you were engaged to a girl out West!” I denied* it instantly. I was involved with somebody, it was true, but unwelcome gossip was one reason why I had come East. I drove home confused and a little disgusted by Tom and Daisy. When I arrived, I sat for a while in the yard. The night was bright, there were plenty of birds in the trees and the frogs sang. Suddenly I realized that I wasn’t alone. Fifty feet away, a figure had appeared from the shadow of my neighbor’s mansion. He was standing with his hands in his pockets, looking up at the stars. Something in the relaxed and confident way he stood on the lawn suggested to me that this was Mr Gatsby himself. He had come outside to determine* his share of the night sky. I decided to call to him – but suddenly he made a movement which told me that he was happy to be alone. He stretched out his arms towards the dark water of the Sound, and I think he was trembling. I looked towards the sea and saw nothing but a small, single green light, far away – the end of a dock*, perhaps. I looked back once more towards Gatsby, but he had gone, and I was alone again in the unquiet* darkness.

denied declared … as untrue determine decide on, resolve

dock platform in the water (where boats can stop) unquiet turbulent, uneasy

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After-reading Activities

Writing 1 Think about the characters you have met in Chapter 1. Now write a sentence describing each of them. (You can use some of the words you underlined.) How are the characters connected? ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Writing – CAE-type activity 2

Choose one of these two characters and write a letter. Either You are Nick. Write a letter of thanks to Daisy and Tom for the dinner. Say that you hope to see them again soon – and add anything else you think Nick would say, based on what you’ve read so far. or You are Daisy. Write a letter of thanks to Nick for coming to dinner. Say that you hope to see him again soon – and add anything else you think Daisy would say, based on what you’ve read so far.

Speaking – CAE-type activity 3 Do

you think that the Buchanans’ dinner party was a success? Why/why not? Will Nick see Daisy and Tom again soon? Will Daisy arrange for Nick and Jordan to be “thrown together”? Discuss in pairs or groups.

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Reading 4 Correct this summary of the events of Chapter 1. Nick Hathaway is a middle-aged man from California who comes to Long Island in the winter of 1922. He rents a house in West Egg, a very fashionable area, next to a bungalow owned by a millionaire called Gatsby. Soon after he arrives, Nick is invited to dinner across the bay in East Egg by his niece Daisy Buchanan. There he meets Daisy’s husband, Tom, whom he knew from college at Harvard. Tom plays tennis and is proud of his mansion and his marriage to Daisy. That evening Nick meets Daisy’s neighbour, Jordan Baker, who is a professional golfer. She tells Nick that she has been to a party given by Mr Gatsby. Daisy tells Nick over dinner that she is unhappy and that she wants Nick and Jordan to see each other again. Nick goes home a little confused and sees Gatsby sitting on a chair, looking across Long Island Sound to a blue light on the other side of the bay.

Grammar 5 Use the information to make sentences and use one of the following reporting verbs. suggest • agree • apologise • insist • complain • tell • ask • explain Daisy / dinner / Nick / East Egg newcomer / directions / West Egg village / Nick Nick / Jordan / Gatsby / neighbor Nick / Daisy / daughter / emotions Tom / Daisy / ‘hulking’ Daisy / Nick / wedding / war Chicago / Nick / Daisy / desolate Jordan / sofa / sit / too long Tom and Daisy / dinner table Daisy / Nick / summer weekends / Jordan

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Writing 6 At

the end of this Chapter, Nick sees Gatsby for the first time. What do you think Gatsby is thinking? Why does he stretch out his arms? Write down some ideas and then discuss them with the class.

Vocabulary 7

Look at these groups of words. Can you find the odd one out? 1 sensitive – younger – successful – vulnerable – reserved 2 drawing-room – porch – library – veranda – couch 3 banking – hardware – commuter – tournament – colleague 4 annoyed – restless – sad – bored – happy

Reading Comprehension 8 Answer these questions (using complete sentences) about what

happens in Chapter 1. 1 How often was dinner at the Buchanans interrupted and by what? 2 Why does Jordan Baker decide not to drink a cocktail? 3 What advice does Nick Carraway’s father give him? (Use your own words.) 4 Which parts of the Buchanans’ house are mentioned in this chapter? 5 Why do you think Daisy asks the question “What Gatsby?” urgently? 6 What is Nick’s opinion of Daisy by the end of the dinner party?

Reading 9 Identify who is talking. 1 “Is something happening?” 2 “I’m p-paralyzed with happiness” 3 “not everybody is as lucky as you are” 4 “I haven’t heard a word!” 5 “I’ve become very pessimistic.”

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____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________


Pre-reading activities 3

Listening – CAE-type activity 10 Listen

to the first part of Chapter 2 and circle the words you hear from the list below. East Egg • railway • four miles • desolate • West Egg • ashes • smoke • train • screech • cloud • eyes • weather • river • stop • woman • chair • greet • staring • foreign • garage • pears

Speaking - Writing 11 Chapter 2 is entitled “A Trip to New York”. Can you predict what will happen in the city and what more will we learn about the characters involved? ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Sequencing 12 Put

these ten sentences into a possible order and then check your answer with the order of events in this Chapter.

A ■ Nick gets drunk. B ■ Nick and Tom catch a train to New York. C ■ Nick sees Tom’s mistress. D ■ A drinks party takes place in an apartment on 158th Street. E ■ Catherine Wilson talks to Nick about Gatsby. F ■ Tom breaks Myrtle Wilson’s nose. G ■ Myrtle Wilson tells Nick about the first time she met Tom. H ■ Catherine talks about unhappy marriages. I ■ Tom talks to George Wilson about a car. J ■ Myrtle Wilson travels to New York in a separate railway carriage.

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Chapter Two

A Trip to New York

3

About half way between West Egg and New York, the road joins the railway and runs next to it for a quarter of a mile, moving away from a desolate* area of land. This area is a valley of ashes*, consisting of hills and other elevated parts where ashes surround houses and chimneys and where rising smoke and ash-grey men move through the powdery air. From time to time, a train comes slowly to a stop with a terrible creak and the ash-grey men work with their spades, creating an impenetrable cloud as the ashes are dumped*. Above this grey land and the endless dust, after a moment you notice the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg – blue and gigantic, looking out from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles* which sit on a nonexistent nose. Obviously a crazy oculist put the eyes there to promote his business activity in the borough of Queens – and then either forgot about them or moved away. But his eyes remain, less bright than before from the effects of the weather, looking out over this solemn valley. On one side is a small, bad-smelling river and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges* pass through, the city trains wait for at least half desolate deserted, lifeless ashes grey-black powder (which is left when something is burnt)

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dumped emptied, got rid of spectacles (eye)glasses barges (here) large boats used for transporting goods


The Great Gatsby

an hour and the passengers can stare at this depressing sight. There is always a stop there of at least a minute, and it was for this reason that I first met Tom Buchanan’s “woman”. I was on the train with Tom to New York one afternoon. When it stopped by the ashheaps*, Tom jumped out of his seat and forced me out of the carriage. “I want you to meet my girl,” he insisted. With the eyes of Doctor Eckleburg staring at us, we walked towards a yellow-brick building on some wasteland*. There were three shops there, one for rent, another an all-night restaurant and the third a garage. The sign said Repairs. GEORGE B. WILSON. Cars bought and sold. – and I followed Tom inside. The interior of the garage was bare, just a dusty old Ford car in the corner. I started to imagine that this was just a front* for something more luxurious, when the owner appeared. He was quite handsome but he had an unhealthy look. Seeing us made his blue eyes light up. “Hello, Wilson, old man,” said Tom heartily. “How’s business?” “I can’t complain,” answered Wilson. “When are you going to sell me that car?” “Next week. My man is working on it now.” “He works very slowly, doesn’t he?” “No,” said Tom coldly. “If that’s what you think, then I’ll sell it to somebody else.” “I only meant---” Wilson started to explain, then his voice faded. Tom looked around the garage impatiently. Then I heard footsteps ashheaps piles/hills of ash wasteland uninhabited land front (here) external appearance

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and saw a stout* woman coming down some stairs. She was around thirty five years old and had a sensuous air of vitality about her. She smiled slowly, went past her husband as if he were a ghost and shook hands with Tom while looking him directly in the eye. Mrs Wilson turned to her husband and ordered him to fetch some chairs. “Oh, sure,” he replied and hurried towards the office. “I want to see you,” Tom said to her. “Get on the next train.” “All right.” “I’ll meet you by the news-stand.” She smiled as George Wilson came back with two chairs. We waited for her down the road. “Terrible place, isn’t it,” remarked Tom. “It does her good to escape.” “What about her husband?” I asked. “He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so stupid that he doesn’t know he’s alive.” So Tom Buchanan and his girl and I went together to New York – although Mrs Wilson sat in another carriage. At least Tom recognized the sensibilities of the East Eggers on the train. When we arrived, she bought a couple of magazines, some skin cream and some perfume. She chose the fifth taxi that came along and we left the station and found sunshine. Suddenly she pointed to an old man with puppies for sale and said, “I want to have a dog for the apartment.” A few minutes later a puppy with white feet was relaxing in Mrs Wilson’s lap*. stout large in body lap area (of a person sitting) between the waist and the knees

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The Great Gatsby

“How much is it?” she asked the man. “That dog will cost you ten dollars,” he replied. “Is it a boy or a girl?” “A boy.” “No it isn’t, it’s a bitch,” said Tom decisively and he gave the old man his money. We drove to Fifth Avenue on that warm summer Sunday afternoon. “Stop,” I told the taxi driver, “I have to get out here.” “Oh, no, you don’t,” said Tom. “Myrtle wants you to come up to the apartment. She’ll be offended if you don’t, won’t you, Myrtle?” She tried to persuade me. “I’ll telephone my sister Catherine – people say she’s very beautiful.” “Well, I’d love to, but…” The taxi continued to 158th Street and stopped outside a row of white apartments. With an air of superiority, Mrs Wilson went inside, accompanied by her dog and her purchases. “I’m going to invite the McKees – and my sister, of course,” she announced. The top-floor apartment consisted of a small living room, a small dining-room, a small bedroom and a bath. The living-room was filled with oversized furniture which made it difficult to move around. On the wall was an enlarged photograph of what looked like a hen sitting on a rock. If you looked from a distance, however, the hen transformed itself into a bonnet* and the face of a stout old lady smiled down into the room. A selection of magazines lay on a table. Mrs Wilson ordered the elevator-boy to get milk and a bed for the bonnet hat made of cloth or straw, with a ribbon to tie under the chin

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dog, and he came back with a tin of biscuits, too. Meanwhile Tom found a bottle of whiskey. I’ve been drunk only twice in my life, and that afternoon was the second time, so all I can remember is that there was plenty of sunshine in the apartment until at least eight o’clock. Mrs Wilson sat on Tom’s lap and telephoned several people. Then there were no cigarettes, so I went out to buy some at the drugstore on the corner. When I came back, the two of them had disappeared, so I sat down to read a book. Either it was of terrible quality, or the whiskey was distorting things, but it made no sense to me at all. When Tom and Myrtle (we were now on first-name terms, thanks to the drink) re-appeared, more people started arriving. Catherine, the sister, was a slim girl of around thirty, with red hair, a milk-white complexion and eyebrows painted on at an immoral angle. The large number of pottery bracelets on her arms meant that there was a constant clicking as she moved around. She looked so possessively at the furniture that I asked her if she lived here – but she just laughed loudly, repeated my question and then told me she lived with a girlfriend in a hotel. Mr McKee was a pale, polite man from the apartment below who had evidently just finished shaving; a small white spot of soap was still on his cheek. He told me that he was in ‘the artistic game’ and I learned later that he was a photographer and that the picture of Mrs Wilson’s mother on the wall was his work. Mrs McKee was loud, languid*, handsome and horrible. She told me proudly that her husband had languid slow-moving, having no energy

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

photographed her a hundred and twenty-seven times since they had been married. Mrs Wilson now wore a cream-colored dress which seemed to change her personality. The vitality that I had noticed in Wilson’s garage was transformed into affectation. “My dear,” she shouted to her sister, “most of these people only think of money. They’ll always trick* you. Last week a woman did my feet and when she gave me the bill, you would think I had major surgery!” “What was her name?” asked Mrs McKee. “Mrs Eberhardt. She does home visits.” “I love your dress, it’s adorable,” said Mrs McKee. Mrs Wilson looked at her with contempt*. “Oh, it’s an old thing which I put on when I don’t care about my appearance.” “It looks wonderful,” Mrs McKee continued. “Chester could take a great photograph of you in that pose*.” She smiled at us. Mr McKee made a gesture to show he thought his wife was crazy. “I would change the light, and some other things,” he commented. “Oh, not the light,” reacted Mrs McKee, but her husband just said, “Sh!” Tom yawned and stood up. “Get some ice and mineral water, Myrtle, before we all fall asleep.” Catherine sat down next to me on the couch. “Do you live on Long Island, too?” she asked. “At West Egg.” trick (verb) deceive, be dishonest with contempt disrespect

30

pose particular position (here, ready to be photographed)


The Great Gatsby

“Really? I was at a party there about a month ago. Man named Gatsby. Do you know him?” “I’m his next-door neighbor.” “Well, they say he’s a nephew or a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm’s*. That’s where his money comes from. Actually, I’m scared of him.” Mrs McKee interrupted us by pointing at Catherine. “Chester, I think you could photograph HER.” Mr McKee nodded in a bored way. Catherine looked at Myrtle and then at Tom and whispered in my ear. “Both of them hate the person they’re married to.” “Do they?” “I say, why go on living together if you can’t stand the other person? If I were them, I’d get a divorce and get married to each other straightaway.” “Doesn’t she like Wilson?” I asked. The answer – violent and obscene – came from Myrtle herself, who had overheard my question. “Tom’s wife is the problem,” Catherine went on. “She’s Catholic.” I knew Daisy wasn’t Catholic and I was shocked at this elaborate lie*. “When they do get married, they’ll move West until the scandal is forgotten,” Catherine concluded. “It would be more discreet to go to Europe, I offered.” “Do you like Europe?” Catherine exclaimed. “Why, I just got back from Monte Carlo. I went there with another girl. We went via Marseilles and we had twelve hundred dollars when we started. But we spent it all in two days in private rooms – we had a terrible time getting back home!” Mrs McKee’s terrible voice broke the dream of blue Mediterranean Kaiser Wilhelm German emperor (1859 - 1941), Kaiser in The Great War, who abdicated in 1918

lie (noun) false fact

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

which the late afternoon sky had brought. “I was so lucky I met Chester. I nearly married the wrong man, a Jew who had wanted me for years. I knew he was below me* – everybody said so!” “Yes, but at least you didn’t marry him,” said Myrtle Wilson. “I did – and that’s the difference. I thought he was a gentleman, but I was wrong.” “But you were crazy about him for a time,” said Catherine. “The only CRAZY thing I did was marry him!” Myrtle cried. “He even borrowed somebody’s suit for the ceremony – without telling me. The man wanted it back the next day.” “She should really escape,” Catherine said to me.” They have lived over that garage for eleven years. Tom is the first sweetheart* my sister’s ever had.” Everyone except Catherine demanded a glass from the second bottle of whiskey and then Tom ordered a large quantity of sandwiches. I tried a few times to go for a walk towards Central Park, but I became entrapped in a series of wild arguments. At one point Myrtle came over to me and told me about her first meeting with Tom. “The last two seats on the train – facing each other. I was coming to New York to see my sister. He was dressed so elegantly, I couldn’t stop looking at him. At the station we were next to each other – I was so excited. We found ourselves in a taxi together and I kept thinking, ‘You only live once, you only live once.” Then she turned to Mrs McKee. “When I’ve finished with this below me on a socially inferior level to me sweetheart lover, admirer

32


The Great Gatsby

dress, I’ll give it to you. I’m going to buy another one tomorrow. I’m going to make a list of all the things I’ve got to buy.” Suddenly it was nine o’clock, then I looked at my watch and it was ten. Mr McKee was asleep on a chair, the dog was sitting on the table looking blindly through the smoke and moaning* occasionally. People came and went. Some time towards midnight Tom and Mrs Wilson stood face to face arguing about whether she should mention Daisy’s name. “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!” cried Mrs Wilson. “I’ll say it any time I want to!” With a short movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand. There were cries of pain, women’s voices commenting on the drama and bloodstained* towels on the bathroom floor. Mr McKee woke up and left, but not before looking back at the scene: his wife and Catherine moving around the furniture and Myrtle Wilson on the couch with a bloody nose. I followed McKee out of the apartment. “Come to lunch some day,” he said. “I’d be glad to,” I replied. The next thing I remember, he was showing me his photographic studies in his apartment… then I was lying half asleep in the cold of Pennsylvania Station, staring at the morning newspaper, waiting for the four o’clock train.

moaning complaining (by making a crying sound) bloodstained covered with blood marks

33


After-reading Activities

Grammar 1 Complete these sentences with the correct form of the verbs in brackets. When the train (1) (halt) _____________ at the drawbridge, Tom (2) (leap) _____________ out of his seat and (3) (take) _____________ Nick to meet his ‘woman’. George Wilson (4) (not realize) ___________ that his wife (5) (go) _____________ to New York with Tom. Someone (6) (fill) ____________ the living-room in the apartment with too much furniture and it (7) (be) very difficult to move around. After Nick (8) (come back) ____________ with more cigarettes, he (9) (see) _________ Tom and Myrtle anywhere, so he (10) (begin) ___________ to read a book. While Catherine (11) (discuss) __________________ Gatsby with Nick, Mrs McKee (12) (interrupt) __________ and (13) (suggest) __________ to her husband that he (14) (photograph) __________ Myrtle’s sister.

Reading 2

Look at these remarks/comments and identify who is talking. 1 “Quick! Get up – we’re getting off the train!” ____________ 2 “These two people need to sit down. Fetch a couple of chairs.” ____________ 3 “I got everything you asked for, Mrs Wilson – I even brought some biscuits.” ____________ 4 “Ha, ha, that’s funny! Do I live here??!!” ____________ 5 “I’m in the artistic game.” ____________ 6 “I can’t stand him! He’s pathetic!” ____________ 7 “Don’t you dare mention her name!” ____________ 8 “Chester – don’t leave now. Help Catherine and me to look after Mrs Wilson!” ____________ 9 “Business isn’t too bad – but I need money... and fast.” ____________

34


Writing 3 Write a short summary of what happens in Chapter 2. Use these prompt words to help you. valley of ashes • George Wilson’s garage • Myrtle • New York • apartment • whiskey • Catherine • the McKees • Gatsby • divorce • first meeting • Myrtle’s nose • railway station

Speaking – CAE-type activity 4 Look at the illustration on page 29, showing Tom and Nick in the valley of ashes. Discuss with a classmate what world this valley represents. How is it different from the world of the Buchanans’ dinner party (illustration on page 13)?

Grammar – CAE-type activity 5 Transform these sentences using the language prompts provided. 1 Tom and I went inside the garage. Immediately I heard footsteps and saw a stout woman coming down some stairs. No sooner __________________________________________ 2 I started to say to Tom that I was leaving them but he insisted that I come along to Myrtle’s apartment. Hardly _____________________________________________ 3 I noticed after a few drinks that Mrs Wilson had changed her dress and that it had changed her personality. Only when __________________________________________ 4 Mrs McKee was unaware how loud and horrible she was. Little (realise) _______________________________________ 5 I tried unsuccessfully to escape to go for a walk towards Central Park. At no time __________________________________________ 6 I remembered nothing – and then it was midnight and Mr McKee was showing me his photographic studies. Not until ___________________________________________

35


Vocabulary 6 Find the correct definitions for these words. 1 ■ chimney 2 ■ stare (at) 3 ■ sensuous 4 ■ drugstore 5 ■ scared 6 ■ argument 7 ■ demand (verb) 8 ■ occasionally a look at something or someone for a long time b ask strongly for something, insist c vertical structure which takes away smoke from a factory d frightened e conversation in which you say you don’t agree with what the other person / people is / are saying f something/somebody pleasing to the senses g sometimes h (American English) pharmacy where you can buy a lot of general goods

Reading 7 Look at these sentences and decide whether they are true (T) or false (F). T F 1 Tom asked Nick if he wanted to meet Myrtle Wilson. ■ ■ 2 Doctor T.J. Eckleburg is an oculist’s in the valley of ashes. ■ ■ 3 Myrtle Wilson was a slim woman of around thirty. ■ ■ 4 Tom cared about what people thought about his affair with Myrtle. ■ ■ 5 Nick wanted to meet Myrtle’s sister Catherine. ■ ■ 6 The weather was very bad in New York. ■ ■ th 7 Nick thought that the apartment on 158 Street was Catherine’s. ■ ■ 8 Nick found out that Gatsby was related to a German king. ■ ■

36


Pre-reading aCtivities

Writing 8

in this Chapter, nick receives a “formal” invitation to a party at gatsby’s house. imagine what the text of the invitation says, and then write nick’s reply.

9

What kind of party do you think it will be at gatsby’s? Write down some words and phrases and then check as you read. NoUNS ADJECTIVES VERBS PHRASES

_________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________

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Chapter Three

The First Party

4

I heard music from my neighbor’s house during the summer nights. Men and girls came and went like moths* and there was champagne and whispering under the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests swimming or sunning themselves on his beach, while his two motor-boats travelled up and down the Sound. On weekends his Rolls-Royce ferried groups of people to and from the city, from nine in the morning to past midnight, while his station wagon served those party guests travelling by train. Every Monday a group of eight servants and an extra gardener cleaned up the mess of the night before. Every Friday five boxes of oranges and lemons arrived from New York and every Monday the same fruit left Gatsby’s back door as a pyramid of squeezed halves – thanks to a machine in the kitchen which extracted the juice of two hundred oranges in just half an hour by means of a button pressed two hundred times by a butler’s thumb. At least once a fortnight an army of caterers* arrived with colored lights and hundreds of feet of canvas to transform Gatsby’s enormous garden. Buffet tables groaned with* hors-d’oeuvres, baked hams and moths night insects (similar to butterflies) caterers people who provide food for social events

38

groaned with (here) were completely full with


The Great Gatsby

other sumptuous food. A bar in the main hall was well stocked with gins, liquors and cordials*. It’s seven o’clock: an impressive-sized orchestra has already arrived and set up; the swimmers are dressing upstairs, the driveway is full of cars from New York, and the rooms are now full of different hairstyles, vivid colors and exotic clothes. The bar is buzzing and cocktails are all around the garden. The air is alive with chatter and laughter and introductions instantly forgotten, as well as enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names. As dusk approaches, the lights become brighter, the orchestra is playing and the voices grow louder. Confident girls move among the faces and voices and color of different party groups. Suddenly one of the guests drinks a cocktail and starts dancing on the platform. The orchestra follows her rhythm and the news goes round that she is understudy* to a Broadway star – the party has begun! I believe that my first visit to Gatsby’s house was as an invited guest. Usually people just went there, they didn’t have an invitation. They found themselves at his Long Island mansion and then behaved as if they were at an amusement park. Sometimes they left the party without meeting Gatsby at all. But I had actually been invited. One Saturday morning his chauffeur had brought me a formal note asking if I would attend his ‘little party’. Soon after seven o’clock, in my white flannels*, I was on his lawn, moving uneasily around a sea of people I didn’t know – except for a cordials concentrated drinks (to be diluted with water) understudy (here) actress who can be a substitute, if necessary

flannels cloth trousers (wool-cotton)

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

few familiar faces from my commuting train. I tried to find my host* but anyone I asked looked at me very strangely, so I went to the safety of the cocktail table. I was nearly hopelessly drunk from embarrassment when I noticed Jordan Baker come out of the house. “Hello!” I shouted, as I moved towards her, and she answered calmly, “I thought you might be here.” We moved around the garden arm in arm and then sat down at a table with two girls dressed in yellow and three men, each one introduced as Mr Mumble. “Do you often come to these parties?” Jordan asked the girl beside her. “Actually, I met you at the last one,” she answered. Her friend Lucille added, “I always have a good time here. At the last party, I tore my dress on a chair. He took my name and address and a week later I received a new one. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars!” “Someone like that is strange,” said the other girl. “I think he doesn’t want any trouble with ANYone.” “Who doesn’t?” I asked. “Gatsby. Somebody told me” – the two girls and Jordan leaned together in secret – “they thought he killed a man.” “He was a German spy during the war,” added Lucille. One of the Mr Mumbles confirmed this. “I heard that from a man who grew up with him in Germany.” “Impossible,” said the first girl, “he was in the American army during the war.” host (here) Gatsby, provider of the party

40


F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

All this romantic speculation made us look around for Gatsby, but without success. The first supper was now served and I joined Jordan’s group – her escort* for the evening, an undergraduate* who specialized in innuendo*, and three married couples. It was East Egg nobility observing the kaleidoscope of West Egg gaiety*. “Let’s escape,” whispered Jordan after we had wasted half an hour. “This is too polite for me.” We wanted to find Gatsby. He wasn’t at the bar or on the veranda, so we went inside and found the library. As we went in, we saw a stout, middle-aged man with enormous spectacles, drunkenly staring at the shelves of book. He looked round and stared at Jordan. “What do you think?” he demanded. “About what?” “The books – they’re real! Pages and everything. Let me show you.” He picked up a book, put it in my hand and then snatched it back again to return it to the shelf. “Who brought you?” he asked. “Did you just come? I was brought, like most people. I’ve been drunk for about a week and I thought that I might sober up* if I sat in a library.” Jordan smiled, we shook hands with him and went outside again. 5 People were dancing now in the garden. By midnight a famous

tenor had sung in Italian, a jazz singer had performed and there was laughter everywhere. Champagne was served in gigantic glasses and the moon continued to rise. escort companion undergraduate student at university innuendo insinuation

42

gaiety festivity sober up (here) become more serious and less affected by alcohol


The Great Gatsby

Jordan and I were still sitting together, now with a man of about my age and a girl who laughed very loudly. The champagne was beginning to have an enjoyable effect on me. The man looked at me and smiled. “I recognize you,” he said politely. “Weren’t you in the Third Division in the war?” “Yes, I was,” I replied. “I was in the Ninth Machine-gun Battalion.” “I was in the Seventh Infantry until June 1918. I thought I’d seen you before.” We talked about grey French villages. Obviously he lived near here, because he told me that he had bought a hydroplane and he was going to test it tomorrow morning. “Do you want to go with me, old sport? Near the shore, along the Sound.” “What time?” I asked. “Whatever time is best for you.” I was about to ask his name when Jordan smiled and asked me if I was enjoying myself. “Much better,” I told her. Then I turned again to the man. “This party is unusual for me. I haven’t met the host. I live over there” – indicating an invisible border in the distance – “and this man Gatsby sent me an invitation with his chauffeur.” The man looked at me incredulously and said suddenly, “I’m Gatsby.” “What!” I exclaimed. “Oh, I beg your pardon.” “I thought you knew, old sport. I’m afraid I’m not a very good host.”

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

He smiled understandingly, a smile with a quality of eternal reassurance. A butler approached him and said he was needed on the telephone. Before disappearing, he said, “If you want anything, just ask for it, old sport. I’ll be back later.” I was surprised. I had expected Mr Gatsby to be red-faced, fat and middle-aged. “Who is he?” I asked Jordan. “He’s just a man named Gatsby.” “But where’s he from? What does he do?” I continued. “Well, he told me once that he was an Oxford man, but I don’t believe it. I don’t think he went there. But he gives large parties, which I like; they are so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” 6 The orchestra began playing a new composition. My eyes fell on

Gatsby, standing alone on the marble steps of his house and looking around at all the groups of people partying. I could see from his eyes that he approved. Gatsby’s butler appeared beside us. “Miss Baker? I beg your pardon, but Mr Gatsby would like to speak to you alone.” “With me?” Jordan exclaimed in surprise. “Yes, madame.” I watched her self-confident, golfer’s walk as she followed the butler towards the house. I noticed that she wore her evening dress like sports clothes. It was almost two o’clock and I was alone. I went inside and watched a tall, red-haired young lady, who had consumed a good quantity of

44


The Great Gatsby

champagne, singing sad songs and weeping. I looked around and saw that most of the women were arguing with their husbands – even Jordan’s group was in conflict. As I waited in the hall, the library door opened and Jordan Baker and Gatsby came out together. He started saying goodbye to some guests. “How long were we in there?” Jordan whispered. “About an hour.” “I’ve just heard something amazing. But I can’t tell it.” As she hurried away, Jordan talked to me – “Please come and see me… Phone book… My aunt…” – and waved – and then she was gone. I went up to Gatsby to apologize for not having known him in the garden. “Don’t mention it, old sport. And don’t forget our appointment with the hydroplane tomorrow morning. Nine o’clock. Good night.” “Good night.” “Good night, old sport.” He smiled and seemed happy that I had stayed so late. As I walked down the steps of his house, I noticed that the evening had not finished. Fifty feet away, one of the cars was in a ditch*, having lost a wheel after hitting a wall. Chauffeurs from other cars had stopped to look and were blocking the road. The scene was one of violent confusion. A man from the crashed car was standing in the middle of the road. I recognized him as the man from Gatsby’s library. “How did it happen?” I asked him. ditch long, narrow hole in the ground

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

He shrugged his shoulders. “I know nothing about mechanics. I know very little about driving. It happened, that’s all.” “You shouldn’t drive at night, then.” “But I wasn’t driving. There’s another man in the car.” The crowd of onlookers cried “Ah-h-h!” as the car door opened and a pale individual crawled out. “What’s the matter?” he asked calmly, as he tried to stand. “Did we run out of gas*?” The crowd pointed to the amputated wheel; he stared at it and then said, “Put the car in reverse gear and back it out of the ditch.” The horns from the other cars got louder and louder. I turned away and walked towards home. As I looked back, the moon was shining over Gatsby’s house and I could see the host holding his hand up to say goodbye. Most of the summer I worked in lower New York. I even had a short affair* with a girl who lived in Jersey City. I usually had dinner at the Yale Club and then went upstairs to study in the library before a relaxing walk back to Pennsylvania Station. I began to like the adventurous nature of New York and I imagined myself entering the lives of the romantic women I saw walking up Fifth Avenue. Sometimes I saw loneliness in young clerks who waited in the dusk by windows before having a solitary restaurant dinner and wasting moments of night and life. And when I saw the eight o’clock taxis travelling towards the theatre district, I felt my own loneliness. I imagined myself sharing everyone’s excitement and wished them well. gas (American English) petrol affair romantic relationship

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The Great Gatsby

I didn’t see Jordan Baker for some time, and then in midsummer I found her again. I was flattered* to go around with her – she was a golf champion and everyone knew her name. I realized that I felt a kind of tender curiosity for her; it wasn’t actually love. Her bored, superior face hid something… and one day I discovered what it was. At a house party, she left a borrowed car out in the rain with the roof down, and then she lied about it. Suddenly I remembered a story about Jordan cheating* at her first important golf tournament. I now saw that she was incurably dishonest. This wasn’t important to me; I was sorry about it in a casual way, and then I forgot. At that same house party, we had a strange conversation about driving a car, after she had nearly hit a workman. “You’re a bad driver,” I protested. “You should be more careful or not drive at all.” “I am careful.” “I disagree.” “Well, other people are careful. They will avoid me – it takes two to make an accident.” “What happens if you meet somebody as careless as yourself ?” “I hope I never will,” she said. “I hate careless people – that’s why I like you.” At that moment she had intentionally changed our relationship and I thought I loved her. But I have many rules which control my desires and I knew that I had to escape tactfully from a romantic entanglement* back home. I am one of the few honest people that I know.

flattered gratified cheating being dishonest entanglement complicated situation

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After-reading Activities

Gap-fill 1

Complete each gap in this text with a suitable word or phrase. One day in summer a formal invitation (1) _________ from my (2) _________ Mr Gatsby to (3) _________ a party of (4) _________. Since I (5) _________ lots of people and (6) _________ plenty of music at his (7) _________ over the summer, I decided to (8) _________ on his offer. I (9) _________ to (10) _________ my white flannels and I walked over to his house. Not (11) _________ anyone made me feel a little (12) _________ but soon I (13) _________ Jordan Baker and I was (14) _________. We (15) _________ around for a while and then (16) _________ a man with (17) _________ spectacles in the library. It was only when we (18) _________ with a group and (19) _________ champagne (20) _________ a man of around my age (21) _________ to talk to me. It (22) _________ to be my host, Mr Gatsby (23) _________.

Writing 2 What do we now know about Gatsby? Write a short text describing everything that happens in this Chapter which involves him. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Speaking 3 How does the relationship between Nick and Jordan develop in Chapter 3? Make some notes and discuss them with a classmate. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

48


Writing 4 Imagine

you are the police. You have been called to Gatsby’s house because a car has crashed. Write a report explaining what you saw. Long Island Police Incident Form Date of Incident ____________________________________ Time of Incident ____________________________________ Location _ _________________________________________ Number of Vehicles Involved __________________________ Witness(es) ________________________________________ Details of Incident _ _________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

Listening – CAE-type activity 5

5 Listen to Nick’s first encounter with Gatsby and decide if these sentences are true (T) or false (F). 1 It was shortly before midnight and people were dancing in Gatsby’s garden. 2 The only music Nick heard was jazz. 3 Jordan and Nick sat in a very large group of people, including a middle-aged man. 4 Nick and the man started talking about experiences in France during the Great War. 5 The man told Nick that he had a special hydrotherapy pool. 6 Nick didn’t realise that the man he was talking to was actually the party host. 7 Jordan tells Nick that Gatsby used to give parties in Oxford. 8 Jordan prefers smaller parties because they are more intimate.

T F

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 49


Note-taking 6 “I

am one of the few honest people I know.” What does Nick mean when he says this? Think about the characters you have met so far in this book and identify something HONEST and something DISHONEST about each of them. Make notes in the chart below and then compare in pairs or groups. CHARACTER Nick

HONEST?

DISHONEST?

Tom

Jordan

Gatsby

Myrtle

Reading 7 Identify who is talking. 1 “I hate careless people – that’s why I like you.” ______________ 2 “I know very little about driving.” ______________ 3 “I’m afraid I’m not a very good host.” ______________ 4 “I always have a good time here.” ______________ 5 “I have many rules which control my desires…” ______________ 6 “Did you just come? I was brought, like most people.” ______________

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Pre-reading activities

Speaking 8 Read the beginning of this Chapter up to “All these people came to Gatsby’s house in the summer.” Why does the author give such a long list of guests? Discuss in pairs.

Reading 9 Look at these sentences and predict whether they will be true (T) or false (F). Check your answers while you are reading. 1 A lot of people came uninvited to Gatsby’s parties. 2 Nick decided to ask Gatsby about his background. 3 Gatsby came from a poor family. 4 Nick wanted to invite Gatsby and Jordan to tea at his house. 5 Gatsby took Nick to lunch with a business colleague. 6 Jordan and Daisy were teenage friends in Louisville.

T

F

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

10 Look at these quotations and identify who is talking in this Chapter. 1 “I thought we could go up to New York for lunch today.” _ ___________________________ 2 “Are you in love with Miss Baker?” _ ___________________________ 3 “He’s a handsome man, isn’t he? And a perfect gentleman.” _ ___________________________ 4 “Daisy is very angry that you haven’t telephoned.” _ ___________________________ 5 “tell everybody Daisy’s changed her mind!” _ ___________________________ 6 “the world came back to Gatsby’s house to party on his lawn.” _ ___________________________

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Chapter Four

The Plan

On Sunday morning, while church bells rang in the villages along the shore, the world came back to Gatsby’s house to party on his lawn. “He’s a bootlegger*,” said some young ladies. “One time he killed a man who had found out he was nephew to Von Hindenburg*.” Once I wrote down on an empty timetable the names of all the people who accepted Gatsby’s hospitality that summer and who paid him the compliment of knowing absolutely nothing about him. From East Egg came the Chester Beckers and Doctor Webster Civet, who was drowned last summer up in Maine – and a whole clan* named Blackbuck, who always stayed in a corner and turned up their noses at anyone who came near, and Edgar Beaver, whose hair, they say, turned cotton-white one winter afternoon for no reason at all. Clarence Endive, from East Egg, came only once and had a fight with a homeless person named Etty in the garden. From further away on Long Island came the Fishguards and the Ripley Snells. Snell was there three days before he went to the penitentiary, and he was so drunk on the drive that Mrs. Ulysses Swett’s automobile ran over his right hand. S. B. Whitebait, who was a lot more than sixty, came too, and Beluga the tobacco importer, and Beluga’s girls. bootlegger seller of illegal alcohol Von Hindenburg German general in The Great War, later president of the Weimar Republic

52

clan large group (of relatives)


The Great Gatsby

From West Egg came the Poles and Gulick the state senator and Newton Orchid, who controlled Films Par Excellence. And G. Earl Muldoon, brother to that Muldoon who afterward strangled his wife. Ed Legros and James B. (‘Rot-Gut’) Ferret came to gamble, and when Ferret wandered into the garden, it meant he had no more money and Associated Traction would need to register a profit the next day. A man named Klipspringer was there so often and for so long that he became known as ‘the boarder’. I doubt if he had any other home. From New York came the Smirkes and the young Quinns, divorced now, and Henry L. Palmetto, who killed himself by jumping in front of a subway train in Times Square. I can also remember young Brewer, who had his nose shot off in the war; and Miss Claudia Hip, who came with a man who was supposed to be her chauffeur. All these people came to Gatsby’s house in the summer. One morning late in July, at nine o’clock, Gatsby’s magnificent car arrived at my door and sounded its three-note horn. It was his first visit to my house, even though I had enjoyed two of his parties, gone up with him in his hydroplane and used his beach frequently. “Good morning, old sport. I thought we could go up to New York for lunch today.” He noticed that I was admiring his rich cream-colored car. “It’s pretty, isn’t it, old sport?” I had talked with him a few times in the past month and found that unfortunately he had little to say. So my first impression that he was

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

a man of importance had changed; I now thought that he was simply the owner of a splendid house next door. The ride to the city was disconcerting*. We hadn’t reached West Egg before Gatsby began to talk in unfinished sentences. “What’s your opinion of me, old sport?” he asked me suddenly. I started to give an evasive answer when he continued. “Well, I’m going to tell you something about my life so that you don’t get the wrong idea from all those stories you hear.” So he was aware of* those strange accusations… “I am the son of wealthy people in the Midwest. I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford, just like my ancestors. It’s a family tradition.” I knew why Jordan Baker believed he was lying: he had said the phrase “educated at Oxford” very quickly. I now felt that there was something sinister about him. “What part of the Midwest?” I asked casually. “San Francisco. My family all died and I inherited a lot of money.” He continued solemnly: “After that I lived in Paris, Venice and Rome, collecting*, painting, and trying to forget something very sad which happened to me a long time ago. “Then came the war, old sport. It was a relief*, and I tried to die, but I seemed to have a privileged life. I was promoted to major and I received a decoration from every Allied* government – even little Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea!” He smiled at these words and reached into his pocket, pulling out a piece of metal on a ribbon. disconcerting emotionally disturbing, unsettling was aware of knew about collecting (here) buyng art objects relief (here) diversion, positive change of circumstance

54

Allied (here) the UK, France, The Russian Empire and several other countries (fighting in The Great War against Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire)


The Great Gatsby

‘Major Jay Gatsby,’ I read, ‘For Valour* Extraordinary’. “Here’s something else I carry – a souvenir of my Oxford days.” A photograph showed half a dozen young men in an archway, including Gatsby holding a cricket bat. So it was all true. “I’m going to ask you a big favor today,” Gatsby said, “so I thought you should know something about me. I didn’t want you to think I was nobody. This afternoon you will hear about the sad thing that happened to me.” “At lunch?” I asked. “No, this afternoon. You’re taking Miss Baker to tea, I believe.” “Are you in love with Miss Baker?” “No, old sport, I’m not. But Miss Baker has kindly agreed to talk to you about this matter,” he explained. I was more angry than interested at this; I hadn’t asked Jordan to tea to discuss Mr Jay Gatsby. He said no more. We drove through the valley of ashes – and I quickly saw Mrs Wilson working at the garage pump – and flew through Long Island City, until a policeman on a motorcycle told us to slow down. At noon we found ourselves in a Forty-second Street cellar for lunch with a small man who had a large head, a flat Jewish nose and tiny eyes. “Mr Carraway, this is my friend Mr Wolfsheim.” He shook my hand and said, “So I looked at him and do you know what I did?” Valour courage (in battle)

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“What?” I asked, politely. But he wasn’t talking to me, it seemed, because he turned to Gatsby, who moved both of us into the restaurant. “What place is this?” I asked Gatsby. “The old Metropole.” Mr Wolfsheim considered these words gloomily*. “Filled with faces dead and gone, filled with friends who are gone forever. I understand you are looking for a business connection.” I was confused. “Oh, no,” answered Gatsby for me, “that’s a different man. We can talk about that another time. This is just a friend.” “Sorry,” said Mr Wolfsheim, “wrong man.” Food arrived and Gatsby’s friend started to eat enthusiastically. “Look, old sport,” Gatsby turned to me, “I’m sorry that I made you angry in the car this morning.” He smiled. “I don’t like mysteries,” I answered. “I’d prefer you to be frank and tell me what you want. Why is Miss Baker involved?” “Oh, it’s nothing dishonest. Miss Baker’s a great sportswoman and she would never do anything underhand.” Suddenly he looked at his watch, got up and hurried out of the room. I was alone with Mr Wolfsheim. “He’s a handsome man, isn’t he? And a perfect gentleman.” “Have you known Gatsby for a long time?” “For several years,” Mr Wolfsheim answered in a satisfied way. “I met him after the war. I knew after only an hour that he was a man of fine breeding*. He’s very careful about women – he would never look at a friend’s wife.” gloomily pessimistically, sadly of fine breeding (here) with excellent social behaviour

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At that moment Gatsby returned to the table. Mr Wolfsheim drank his coffee and got up. “I have enjoyed my lunch and now I’m going to leave you two young men to discuss your sports, your ladies and your---. I am from a different generation!” “He is very sentimental sometimes,” explained Gatsby, after Mr Wolfsheim had gone. “He’s a real character around New York.” “What is he – an actor? A dentist?” I asked. “Meyer Wolfsheim? No, he’s a gambler. He’s the man who saw an opportunity and fixed the World’s Series* in 1919.” “Why isn’t he in jail?” “He’s a smart man.” I insisted on paying for lunch. Then I saw Tom Buchanan across the crowded room. “Come with me,” I said, “I’ve got to say hello to somebody.” Tom jumped up and came towards us. “Where have you been? Daisy is very angry that you haven’t telephoned.” “This is Mr Gatsby, Mr Buchanan.” They shook hands and Gatsby looked embarrassed. “So why did you come to the city to eat?” Tom demanded of me. “I’ve been having lunch with Mr Gatsby,” I explained. I turned towards Gatsby, but he was no longer there. That afternoon Jordan Baker and I sat in the tea-garden at the Plaza Hotel. “One October day in 1917,” she recalled, “I was walking around Louisville when I saw Daisy Fay sitting in her white dress in her white the World’s Series famous professional baseball competition played every year in the US and Canada; the 1919 scandal involved illegal gambling on results

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The Great Gatsby

car outside her house. Next to her was a lieutenant I had never seen before. They were very engrossed in* each other! “Daisy was eighteen, two years older than me, and she was easily the most popular girl in town. I was flattered when she called to me that day. She told me that she couldn’t come to the Red Cross to make bandages – would I tell them? The officer looked at her very romantically as she spoke. His name was Jay Gatsby. I didn’t see him again for over four years, and when I met him on Long Island, I still didn’t realize it was the same person. “By 1918 I was playing in golf tournaments, so I didn’t see Daisy very often. I heard a story that her mother found her packing her bag to go to New York one night to say goodbye to a soldier who was going overseas*. Her family stopped her and she stopped seeing soldiers after that. “By the autumn she was happy again and the following June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago. The day before the wedding he came with a hundred people and gave her pearls valued at $350,000. I was bridesmaid*, and half an hour before the bridal dinner, I found her lying on her bed, drunk as a monkey, a bottle in one hand and a letter in the other. ‘Here,’ she pulled the pearls out of the wastebasket, ‘take them downstairs and tell everybody Daisy’s changed her mind!’ She cried and cried. “So we put her into a cold bath and she took the letter and squeezed* it into a wet ball. It disintegrated in the soap-dish. We put her back into her dress and half an hour later the pearls were around her neck. The next day at five o’clock she married Tom Buchanan. very engrossed in giving complete attention to overseas abroad; (here) across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, to fight in The Great War

bridesmaid female companion to the bride squeezed compressed

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“When they came back from their honeymoon, Daisy seemed mad about* her husband. That was in August in Santa Barbara. A week after I left them, Tom had a car accident and his passenger broke her arm. The story was in the newspapers – she was a chambermaid in the Santa Barbara Hotel. “In April of the following year Daisy had a daughter and they all went to France for a year. When they returned to settle down in Chicago, they started socializing with a fast crowd, young, rich and wild. “Well, about six weeks ago, she heard the name Gatsby. The evening you came to dinner at her house, she came into my room afterwards and woke me up. ‘What Gatsby?’ she asked me, and when I described him, she said in a strange voice that he must be the man she knew. I then connected Gatsby with the officer in her white car in Louisville.” When Jordan Baker had finished telling me all this, we had left the Plaza and were riding* through Central Park. The sun had gone down behind the tall apartments of the movie stars. “But it was no coincidence,” Jordan continued. “Gatsby bought his house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.” I now realized that when I had seen Gatsby that June night, he wasn’t only looking up to the stars. “He wants to know if you will invite Daisy to your house one afternoon and then let him come.” I was shaken*. “Did I have to know all these details before he could ask me for such a small thing?” I asked. “He’s afraid. He’s waited for such a long time. He thought that you might be offended*.” mad about (here) totally in love with riding (here) travelling by taxi

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shaken upset, shocked offended insulted


The Great Gatsby

“Why not ask you to arrange a meeting?” “He wants her to see his house,” she explained. “Your house is next door. “I think he expected her to come to one of his parties. But she didn’t. So he asked some people casually if they knew her and I was the first person he found. That was the night when we were talking in the library for an hour. I immediately suggested a lunch in New York but he insisted on doing something ‘right* next door’. “I said that you were a friend of Tom Buchanan and he started to abandon the whole idea.” It was dark now, and as we went under a bridge, I put my arm around Jordan’s shoulder and asked her to dinner. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking of Daisy or Gatsby. A question formed in my mind: “Does Daisy want to see Gatsby?” “She mustn’t know about the meeting. Gatsby wants you to invite her to tea, that’s all.” We passed some trees and light shone down into Central Park. I pulled my arm tighter around Jordan. She smiled and this time I pulled her closer to my face.

‘right’ (here) just, exactly

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After-reading Activities

Vocabulary 1

Look at these groups of words. Can you find the odd one out? 1 2 3 4

lawn – house – garden – subway – drive old sport – wrong idea – brought up – bungalow – family tradition lieutenant – officer – letter – chambermaid – wedding – bay fast – engrossed – homeless – rich – young

Summary-writing 2 Focus

on Gatsby’s story. Write a short text summarising his education and background.

Grammar 3 Answer these questions, using complete sentences. 1 Who went to Gatsby’s parties most regularly and what did people call him? ____________________________________________________ 2 Why did Gatsby go to Nick’s house one July morning? ____________________________________________________ 3 What impression did Nick get of Gatsby as they were driving? ____________________________________________________ 4 What did Gatsby, Nick and Wolfsheim talk about over lunch? ____________________________________________________ 5 What story did Jordan tell Nick in the tea-garden? ____________________________________________________ 6 What does Gatsby want Nick to do? ____________________________________________________

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Word-search 4 Find

10 words from Chapter 4 in this word grid and spell the name of one of Gatsby’s guests. S

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Comprehension 5 Read these quotations and say what happened next. 1 “Here’s something else I carry – a souvenir of my Oxford days.” 2 “He’s very careful about women – he would never look at a friend’s wife.” 3 “I’ve been having lunch with Mr Gatsby,” I explained. 4 “I found her lying on her bed, drunk as a monkey… “ 5 “… about six weeks ago, she heard the name Gatsby.” 6 “Does Daisy want to see Gatsby?”

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Grammar – CAE-type activity 6 Use one of these “contrasters” to rewrite these sentences. (There is one extra!) even though • in spite of • as regards • whereas • however • despite • while 1 I had been to two Gatsby parties and used his beach but this was his first visit to my house. 2 I received an invitation to my first party at Gatsby’s, but most people went there uninvited. 3 At first I thought that Gatsby was a man of importance. My opinion changed while we were driving to New York together. 4 “I tried to die in the war, but I seemed to have a privileged life. I was promoted to major,” Gatsby recalled. 5 I wanted to pay for lunch. Gatsby didn’t agree but I got my way in the end. 6 I thought Meyer Wolfsheim was an actor or a dentist. Gatsby told me that he was gambler.

Writing 7 Focus

on Gatsby’s story. Write a short text summarising his education and background. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Speaking 8 Now think about the story of Gatsby and Daisy, as told by Jordan Baker. How are the two lovers different now, five years later? Is Gatsby right to have bought a house across the bay from Daisy? What do you think of Gatsby’s plan to meet Daisy again, and why at Nick’s house? Discuss in pairs.

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Pre-reading activities

Speaking 9 Think

about the “difficult reunion” which is the title of this chapter. Who does this meeting involve and what do you think will happen? Discuss in pairs.

Vocabulary 10 Some of these words appear in Chapter 5, some are opposites. Match the words in these two lists. 1 ■ 2 ■ 3 ■ 4 ■ 5 ■ 6 ■ 7 ■ 8 ■ 9 ■ 10 ■ 11 ■ a b c d e f g h i j k

wonderful rain relaxed whispered excited earn uncertain rude enormous reluctantly funny

uneasy lose sunshine willingly shouted normal miserable polite bored confident tiny

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Chapter Five

The Reunion

7

When I arrived home in West Egg that night, I thought for a moment that my house was on fire. It was two o’clock and the whole area was blazing* with light. I turned a corner and saw that it was Gatsby’s house – lit from top to bottom. Another party, I thought at first. But there was no sound at all, except for the wind in the trees, which blew the wires and made the lights go on and off. As my taxi drove away, I saw Gatsby walking towards me across his lawn. “Let’s go to Coney Island in my car, old sport.” “It’s too late.” “What about a swim in my pool?” “I’ve got to go to bed.” After a moment I said, “I talked with Miss Baker. I’ll call Daisy tomorrow and invite her to tea. Which day would be good for you? ”Which day would suit YOU?” Gatsby said quickly. “I don’t want to cause you any trouble.” “How about the day after tomorrow?” He considered for a moment. “I want to get the grass cut.” I looked at my lawn and the border with his – and I suspected he meant my grass. blazing shining very brightly

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“There’s another little thing,” he started to say. “Shall I postpone it for a few days?” “Oh, it’s something completely different. I mean--- look here, old sport, you don’t make much money, do you?” “No, not very much.” “I thought not. You see, I have a little business on the side, so I thought… You sell bonds, don’t you, old sport?” “I try to.” “Well, I think you’ll be interested in this. It wouldn’t take up much of your time and you could earn a nice bit of money. It’s a rather confidential thing.” I became very suspicious and decided to stop there. “Thank you for the offer, but I’ve got enough work at the moment.” He told me it wasn’t connected to Wolfsheim and waited for me to continue the conversation. But I didn’t, so he reluctantly went home. Next morning I telephoned Daisy and invited her to tea. “Don’t bring Tom,” I told her. “Who’s Tom?” she asked innocently. On the day appointed*, it poured with rain. At eleven o’clock a man in a raincoat, pulling along a lawn-mower, knocked on my door and said he had been sent by Mr Gatsby to cut my grass. I remembered that my Finnish housekeeper was still out, so I drove into West Egg Village to find her and to buy some cups and lemons and flowers – although the flowers weren’t necessary. At two o’clock a greenhouse-full of them arrived from Gatsby’s, as well as plenty of vases. appointed arranged

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An hour later, my front door opened nervously and Gatsby hurried in. He was wearing a white flannel suit, a silver shirt and a gold-colored tie. He looked pale, as if he hadn’t slept. “Is everything all right?” he asked. “The grass looks wonderful, if that’s what you mean.” “What grass? Oh, the grass in the yard.” And he looked out of the window, without seeing anything. “One newspaper said the rain will stop around four o’clock,” he remarked. “Have you got anything for tea?” We looked at the twelve lemon cakes bought at the shop. “Are they okay?” “Yes, of course, they’re fine… old sport!” At around half-past three the rain changed to a damp mist*. Gatsby 8 read, occasionally looking out of the window. Finally he got up and announced in an uncertain voice that he was going home. “Nobody’s coming to tea – it’s too late!” he exclaimed. “I can’t wait all day.” “Don’t be silly. It’s just before four o’clock.” He sat down again, looking miserable, and at that moment we heard a car coming up to the house. We both jumped up and I went outside. Daisy was wearing a three-cornered lavender hat. She looked at me with a bright smile. “Is this where you live, my dear?” As I took her hand and helped her from the car, she said softly, “Are you in love with me? Is that why I had to come alone?” mist thin fog

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“It’s a secret,” I replied. “Tell your chauffeur to go away for an hour.” We went in. To my complete surprise, the living-room was empty. “That’s funny*,” I exclaimed. “What’s funny?” Daisy turned her head as we heard someone knock on the front door. I opened it to see Gatsby, pale as death, hands deep in his pockets, standing in a puddle* of water. He walked past me and disappeared into the living-room. For half a minute there wasn’t a sound – then I heard a murmur and a short laugh, followed by Daisy saying artificially: “I certainly am very glad to see you again.” There was a pause, which ended horribly. Having nothing to do in the hall, I went into the living-room. Gatsby was leaning against the mantelpiece*, with his hands still in his pockets, trying to seem relaxed but looking uneasy, even bored. His head rested against an old clock and he stared down at Daisy, who sat frightened but graceful on the edge of a chair. “We’ve met before,” Gatsby muttered. At that moment the clock fell off the mantelpiece. He caught it with trembling fingers and put it back. “Sorry,” he said, sitting down on the sofa and resting his chin* in his hand. “It’s an old clock,” I commented. Daisy said in a matter-of-fact* voice: “We haven’t met for many years.” “Five years next November,” Gatsby pointed out, but his observation only resulted in both of them standing up and desperately offering to help me make tea. Then my housekeeper came in with a tray of tea, cups and cakes, which created a welcome confusion. funny (here) strange puddle small pool mantelpiece shelf above the fireplace

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chin front part of the face (below the lips) matter-of-fact (adj) unemotional


The Great Gatsby

Gatsby retreated unhappily into a shadow while Daisy and I talked. As soon as I could, I got up. “Where are you going?” he demanded. “I have to speak to you about something before you go.” In the kitchen, he whispered wildly, “Oh God! This is a terrible mistake.” “You’re both embarrassed, that’s all,” I said. “You’re acting like a little boy – and you’re rude: Daisy’s sitting all alone in there.” Gatsby put his hand up to stop me talking, then looked at me with unforgettable reproach* and returned cautiously to the living-room. I walked out of the back of the house and ran under the rain 9 towards a huge black tree. My irregular lawn was full of puddles. The only view I had was Gatsby’s enormous house, so I stared at it. The sun shone again after half an hour and Gatsby’s grocer arrived at the mansion with the ingredients for his servants’ dinner. A housemaid opened the upper windows of his house… and it was time for me to go back inside my own. I had heard the murmur of their voices while the rain had fallen, but now there seemed to be a new silence. I made as much noise as possible in the kitchen and then I went into the living-room. They were sitting at either end of the couch, looking at each other as if there were some unanswered question in the air. Daisy had been crying; when I came in, she jumped up and started wiping away the tears in front of my mirror. Gatsby had changed unbelievably – now he radiated well-being* which filled the little room. “Oh, hello, old sport,” he said. reproach criticism well-being health and happiness

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“It’s stopped raining,” I remarked. “Has it? What do you think of that, Daisy?” “I’m glad, Jay,” said my cousin, her voice full of aching* beauty and unexpected joy. “I want you and Daisy to come over to my house,” he said. “I want to show her around.” “You’re sure you want me to come, too?” I asked. “Absolutely, old sport.” While we waited outside for Daisy to wash her face, Gatsby talked about his house. “It took me only three years to earn the money to buy it.” “I thought you inherited your money,” I said. “Oh, I did, old sport, but I lost most of it in the big panic – the war.” When I asked him what business he was in, he only said, “That’s my affair.” Almost immediately he seemed to regret what he had said. “Several things,” he corrected himself. “The drug business, then the oil business, but neither of those now.” Daisy appeared and cried, “That huge place THERE?” “Do you like it?” “I love it, but how can you live there all alone?” “I keep it full of interesting people, night and day. Famous people.” We went towards the grand main entrance, with Daisy admiring the gardens, the flowers, the blossoms*. It was strange to reach the marble steps and see no bright dresses, hear no sounds of partying. Inside, we went through music-rooms and salons and upstairs bedrooms, dressing-rooms and bathrooms. aching (here) sad blossoms full flowering of the plants

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We walked into one chamber and disturbed an untidy man in pajamas, doing exercises on the floor. This was Mr Klipspringer, the ‘boarder’. Finally we arrived at Gatsby’s own apartment, where we sat down for a drink. He hadn’t once stopped looking at Daisy, waiting for her reaction to everything in his house and revaluing it according to how she responded. Sometimes he stared at his own possessions as if they were no longer real. Once he nearly fell down some stairs. His bedroom was simple, except for a toilet set of pure gold. Daisy used his brush to smooth her hair and Gatsby started to laugh. “It’s very strange, old sport,” he said. “I can’t---” He stopped himself – and I realized that he was experiencing a third emotional state this afternoon. After embarrassment and then joy came an all-consuming wonder* at having Daisy in his house. Now he was running down like an overwound clock*. He opened two large cabinets and showed us suits, dressinggowns, ties and shirts. “I’ve got a man in England who buys clothes for me and sends a selection at the beginning of each season.” Daisy started crying into the pile of linen, silk and flannel. “They’re so beautiful. I’ve never seen such wonderful shirts before; it makes me sad.” Outside, Gatsby showed us the grounds*, the swimming pool and the hydroplane. It began to rain again. “Without the mist, I can see your home across the bay. You always have a green light burning all night at the end of your dock.” Suddenly Daisy put her arm through his. But he didn’t notice the wonder (noun) surprise, admiration he … an overwound clock Gatsby was losing energy, like a clock whose key has been turned too often and which is slowly stopping

the grounds the land around the house

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gesture; he seemed absorbed in* what he had just said. Perhaps that light had now disappeared for ever. It had seemed so near – almost touching her – compared to the great distance that had separated them both. Back in Gatsby’s room, I noticed a large photograph above his desk of an old man in yachting clothes. “Who’s this?” I asked. “It’s Dan Cody, old sport. He’s dead now. He used to be my best friend.” There was also a small picture of Gatsby, in yachting costume and with his head thrown back confidently, taken apparently when he was eighteen. “I adore it,” exclaimed Daisy. “Look at this,” said Gatsby quickly. “Here are a lot of newspaper clippings* – about you.” I tried to excuse myself, but they both refused to let me go. Perhaps my presence made them feel more comfortable together. “I know, we’ll get Klipspringer to play the piano,” said Gatsby, and he went out of the room calling “Ewing!”. The ‘boarder’ came back, embarrassed, now dressed in a ‘sport shirt’, sneakers* and cotton trousers. “I was asleep,” he cried. “Klipspringer plays the piano, don’t you, Ewing, old sport?” said Gatsby. “Not well, I’m out of prac---” “Let’s go downstairs,” interrupted Gatsby. In the music-room, he turned on a lamp beside the piano and lit absorbed in fascinated by, immersed in clippings articles (cut out with scissors)

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The Great Gatsby

Daisy’s cigarette from a trembling match. He sat down with her on a couch on the other side of the room, where there was hardly any light. Klipspringer played The Love Nest, then turned and looked for Gatsby in the near-darkness. “I told you I couldn’t play. “I’m all out of prac---” “Don’t talk so much, old sport. Play!” ordered Gatsby. Outside, the wind was loud and there was thunder along the Sound. The trains were bringing people home in the rain from New York. It was the hour of change and excitement was in the air. As I said goodbye, I saw that the expression of confusion had returned to Gatsby’s face – was he unsure about the quality of his present happiness, perhaps? Even on this perfect afternoon, there must have been moments when Daisy fell short of* his dreams. It wasn’t her fault, it was because his illusion was so enormous and vital, full of creative passion. Gatsby’s hand took hold of Daisy’s, she whispered something in his ear and he turned towards her with a rush of emotion. I think it was Daisy’s voice that captured him most – its intense warmth, a never-ending song. He and Daisy had forgotten me, but she looked up and held out her hand; Gatsby didn’t know me at all now. I looked once more at them and they looked back at me, from a distance, possessed. So I left them there together and went outside, down the marble steps and into the rain.

fell short of did not fulfil, did not meet the expectations of

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After-reading Activities

Speaking – CAE-type activity 1a How does Gatsby’s behaviour change before and after Daisy’s arrival? Have you seen Gatsby like this before? ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

1b Now that Gatsby and Daisy have been reunited, do you think their relationship will resume, or not? If so, how will it be possible? ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

1c What function does Nick serve in the reunion? ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Note-taking 2 What

importance does the weather have in the events of this Chapter? Make notes in this chart and then discuss in pairs or small groups. WEATHER

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EVENT


Grammar – CAE-type activity 3 Complete

these sentences, using the modal verbs in the box below in a past-tense construction and the verbs in CAPITALS. may • must • might • can • need • ought to • will • should 1 When Nick arrived home, he thought that a fire _____________ at his house. START 2 Nick _________________ flowers in West Egg because Gatsby sent a greenhouse-full of them at two o’clock. BUY 3 Gatsby _____________ more patience when they were waiting for Daisy to arrive. SHOWN 4 If Gatsby hadn’t been so uneasy, Daisy ______________ more relaxed. FEEL 5 Seeing Gatsby unexpectedly again after five years ___________ easy for Daisy. BE 6 Gatsby’s house certainly __________________ Daisy. IMPRESS 7 Nick _______________ with them to Gatsby’s house since, by the end of the tour, they had forgotten that he was there. GO 8 Gatsby wanted to see Daisy again but unintentionally he _____________ his own dream. DESTROY

Listening 8

4 Listen to this extract from Chapter 5 and put these events into the correct order. A ■ B ■ C ■ D ■ E ■

Gatsby told Nick that he was going home. Gatsby kept looking out of the window. Daisy asked Nick if he was in love with her. Gatsby disappeared. Nick opened the front door and Gatsby hurried into the living-room. F ■ Gatsby knocked the clock off the mantelpiece but caught it in time. G ■ Daisy said she was glad to see Gatsby. H ■ The weather changed from rain to mist at around half-past three. I ■ Gatsby told Nick that the meeting was a mistake. J ■ Nick’s housekeeper brought tea and cakes in.

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Reading Comprehension 5 Answer the following questions. 1 Why does Nick refuse Gatsby’s business proposition? 2 What preparations do Nick and Gatsby organise for the reunion? 3 When Nick goes back inside his house, how does Daisy behave, and why? 4 Nick talks about “a third emotional state” in Gatsby. When does he notice this state and what does it imply? 5 Can you think of a connection between Gatsby’s collection of shirts and something else in his house, which you read about in Chapter 3? 6 As he leaves them, what does Nick think has happened to Gatsby and Daisy?

6 Read Chapter 5 again and note all the adjectives which are linked to Gatsby and Daisy. What picture do they give of their characters and how they react to the situation of “The Reunion”? GATSBY ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ DAISY ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________

Reading 7 Read these quotations and say what happened next. (Use your own words.) 1 I turned a corner and saw that it was Gatsby’s house – lit from top to bottom. 2 On the day appointed, it poured with rain. 3 We both jumped up and I went outside. 4 “We’ve met before,” Gatsby muttered. 5 I tried to excuse myself, but they both refused to let me go. 6 It was the hour of change and excitement was in the air.

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Pre-reading activities

Speaking 8 Here is the beginning of the Chapter: One morning an ambitious young reporter from New York arrived at Gatsby’s door and asked him if he had anything to say.

What do you think the journalist wanted to know? Discuss in pairs.

9 In

Chapter 4, Jordan said that Gatsby had expected Daisy to come to one of his parties. Why do you think she didn’t? How would she feel if she did? Make some notes and then compare them with what happens in this Chapter. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Writing 10 Here are some definitions of words in this Chapter. Can you find them while you are reading? Write a sentence of your own using each word. 1 2 3 4 5 6

wanting success (adjective) __________________ disturbed (adjective) __________________ discouraging (adjective) __________________ someone selling alcohol illegally __________________ dedication, loyalty to someone or something _______________ mental images __________________

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Chapter Six

Important Meetings

One morning an ambitious young reporter from New York arrived at Gatsby’s door and asked him if he had anything to say. “About what?” asked Gatsby politely. “Don’t you want to make a statement*?” After five minutes of confusion, the man revealed that he had heard Gatsby’s name around his office in connection with something – he didn’t want to say, or he didn’t really understand. Today was his day off and he had decided to investigate. It was just a feeling, but in fact the reporter’s instinct was correct. The hundreds of party guests had spread the word about Gatsby’s hospitality and had become experts on his past, so that over the summer he almost became headline news*. Among the many stories being circulated was that James Gatz of North Dakota didn’t live in a house, but in a boat which looked like a house and which was moved secretly up and down the Long Island shore. James Gatz – that was his legal name. He had changed it at the age of seventeen and that was the beginning of his career. It was also the moment when he saw Dan Cody’s yacht arrive on Lake Superior. That afternoon James Gatz had been wandering along the beach – statement comment, declaration headline news the most important news item

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but the young man who borrowed a boat and rowed out to Cody’s yacht Tuolomee to tell him about the bad weather and how his yacht was at risk – that was already Jay Gatsby. I suppose he had already thought a long time about the name – Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island. His parents were unsuccessful farm people who had always stayed in the same place; in fact, in his imagination, they weren’t his parents at all. For over a year he had done various jobs along the south shore of Lake Superior – clamdigger*, salmon-fisher, anything that would bring him food and a bed. He worked hard and played hard and soon he had experience of women: they spoiled him and so he developed a low opinion of them, partly because of their ignorance and partly because they worried about things which he just accepted. His heart was in constant turmoil*, however, and the wildest thoughts filled his sleepless head at night – while his bedside clock continued ticking and the moon illuminated the untidy pile of clothes on the floor. After two weeks as a porter in a Lutheran college in Minnesota, the young Gatz was still seaching for something to do in life on the day that Dan Cody’s yacht arrived on Lake Superior. Cody was fifty years old, a multi-millionaire who had completed five years at sea escaping from colorful* newspaper stories and a series of women who had tried to separate him from his money. His yacht represented beauty and glamour* to James Gatz. Cody asked him a few questions, discovered that he was extremely ambitious, took him to Duluth and bought clam-digger person who looks for molluscs by excavating in the sand turmoil chaos, agitation

colorful (here) controversial glamour (here) magic, excitement

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him some yachting clothes. When the Tuolomee sailed for the West Indies and the Barbary Coast*, Gatsby was on board, too, serving as secretary, ship’s mate, steward*, skipper and even guardian when Dan Cody was drunk on board. (The sober Dan Cody knew what crazy things his alter ego* was capable of and he trusted Gatsby more and more.) I thought of Cody’s portrait in Gatsby’s bedroom: a grey man with a hard face and a flushed complexion*. In fact, it was indirectly thanks to Cody that Gatsby consumed so little liquor. Sometimes, at lively parties, women would rub champagne into his hair, but he left alcohol strictly alone. The arrangement lasted five years and might have continued, if Cody hadn’t died one week after his mistress* Ella Kaye came on board in Boston. Cody left Gatsby $25,000, but he never received it. What remained of Cody’s millions went to Kaye and all Gatsby was left with was an appropriate education. But he was also a ‘substantial’ man* now. For several weeks I didn’t see Gatsby or hear his voice on the phone. I was in New York mostly, spending time with Jordan. Finally I went over to his house one Sunday afternoon. After only two minutes, Tom Buchanan appeared; I was startled, of course… but what really surprised me was that it hadn’t happened before. Tom was part of a trio with horses – there was a man named Sloane and a pretty woman in brown riding clothes. Gatsby greeted them with “I’m delighted to see you. Thanks for coming---” and he walked around the room quickly, offering them drinks. Tom’s presence made him very uneasy. the Barbary Coast the North African coast (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya) steward officer on a ship who is responsible for provisions alter ego other self

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a flushed complexion red skin mistress lover (female) a ‘substantial’ man a man of strong character


The Great Gatsby

“I believe we’ve met somewhere before, Mr Buchanan.” “Oh yes, I remember very well,” Tom lied. “I know your wife,” Gatsby continued, with a hint of aggression in his voice. “Really?” Tom turned to me. “Do you live near here, Nick?” “Next door.” “Really?” The woman in riding clothes said, “We’ll come to your next party, Mr Gatsby. Is that all right?” “Certainly. I’d be delighted.” “Well,” said Mr Sloane, “I think we should go.” “Please don’t hurry,” Gatsby insisted. He wanted to see more of Tom. “Why don’t you stay for supper?” “Both of you should come to supper with ME,” the lady said, and I realized that she was including me. “I’ve got lots of room and I would love to have you.” Gatsby looked at me – it was obvious that he wanted to go – but Mr Sloane said nothing. He seemed unhappy at this possibility. “I’m afraid I can’t,” I said. “Well, you come,” she insisted, focusing on Gatsby. Mr Sloane muttered something in her ear. “If we go now, we won’t be late,” the lady insisted. Gatsby said that he would follow them in his car – “I’ve never bought a horse” – and excused himself. The rest of us walked outside onto the porch.

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“Doesn’t Gatsby realize that she doesn’t want him to come?” said Tom incredulously. “He won’t know anyone at her dinner party. I wonder where he met Daisy.” Mr Sloane and the lady mounted their horses and Mr Sloane said to Tom: “Let’s go, we’re late.” And then to me: “Tell him we couldn’t wait.” As the three of them disappeared on their horses, Gatsby arrived with a hat and a light coat in his hand. Tom was obviously agitated at the idea of Daisy running around alone, because he came with her to Gatsby’s party the following Saturday. Of all Gatsby’s summer parties, I remember that one as being strangely oppressive. The same kind of people, the same quantity of champagne, the same commotion* – but there was an unpleasantness in the air, a sharpness which had not been there before. Perhaps I had simply grown accustomed to the self-sufficient world of West Egg, with its own standards and its notable people, and now I was looking at it again, this time through Daisy’s eyes. She and Tom arrived as it was getting dark. “I am so excited,” she whispered to me, as we started walking through all the groups of people, “and if you want to kiss me during the evening, Nick, just let me know. I can arrange it. I’m giving out cards---” “Look around,” interrupted Gatsby. “You must recognize a lot of people.” “We don’t socialize much,” said Tom, arrogantly. “Actually I was thinking that I don’t know anyone here.” “Perhaps you know that lady.” Gatsby indicated a beautiful woman commotion disorder, noisy activity

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under a white plum tree, and Tom and Daisy stared in disbelief as they recognized a movie celebrity. “She’s lovely,” said Daisy. “And the man with her is her director.” Gatsby continued to introduce them to groups of guests and Tom became “Mr Buchanan… the polo player”. “Oh, no, not me. I’d rather look at all these famous people in obscurity,” Tom protested. Daisy and Gatsby danced a fox-trot; he was graceful and conservative. I was surprised because I had never seen him dance before. Then they went casually over to my house and sat on my steps for half an hour, while I stayed in my garden at Daisy’s request – “in case of fire or flood*, or an act of God,” she explained. As we sat down to supper, Tom re-appeared from somewhere and asked if he could join us. Daisy seemed happy for him to stay – “If you want to write down some addresses, here’s my gold pencil” – and then she looked around and told me that the girl was “common but pretty”. I realized that, apart from the half-hour when she had been alone with Gatsby, she was not enjoying the evening. Our table consisted of particularly tipsy* people. Gatsby was absent, having been called away to the phone. Two weeks ago, I had enjoyed the company of some of these guests, but tonight the air was poisonous*. A girl named Miss Baedeker tried unsuccessfully to collapse on my shoulder, another was trying to convince Daisy to play golf with her tomorrow, and there was talk of cocktails, sticking flood overflowing with water tipsy intoxicated poisonous (here) sharp, malicious

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someone’s head in the swimming pool and whether a doctor with a shaking hand should be performing operations. The last thing I remember was standing with Daisy and watching the movie director and his star, their faces touching under the white plum tree. Eventually he kissed her. “I like her. I think she’s lovely,” Daisy remarked. I sat on the front steps with her and Tom while they waited for their car. “Who is this Gatsby anyway?” he demanded. “A big bootlegger, I imagine – like a lot of these newly rich people?” “Not Gatsby,” I said. “Well, he must have worked hard to put this menagerie* together,” Tom continued, observing the guests. “Lots of people come uninvited and he’s too polite to turn them away,” said Daisy. “At least they’re more interesting than the people we know.” “You didn’t look that interested.” “Well, I was.” “I think I want to find out who he is and what he does,” Tom insisted. “I can tell you now,” said Daisy. “He owned a lot of drug-stores, which he built up himself.” The limousine arrived. “Goodnight, Nick,” said Daisy, glancing at the steps of Gatsby’s house, from which the sound of a popular, sad waltz was floating. Was it calling her back inside? What would happen now – would a radiantly beautiful young girl arrive as one of Gatsby’s party guests, take one look at him in one magical encounter, thus canceling out his five years of unchanging devotion? menagerie (here) wide variety of people

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I stayed late that night. Gatsby asked me to wait until he was free, so I stayed in the garden until the swimming party had finished and all the lights in the guest-rooms had gone out. When he appeared at last, his eyes were bright but he looked tired. “She didn’t like it,” he said. “She didn’t have a good time.” “Of course she did.” “I feel far away from her,” he continued. “I can’t make her understand.” “Do you mean about the dance?” He snapped his fingers to dismiss all thoughts of all the dances which he had given. “Old sport, the dance is unimportant.” I realized what he really wanted: for Daisy to go to Tom and say “I never loved you” and destroy four years with a single sentence. Then, with Daisy free, they could go back to Louisville and be married from her house – exactly as if it were five years ago. “She used to understand,” he went on. “We used to sit for hours---” He stopped and then he began to walk restlessly up and down a path of flowers and fruit. “Don’t ask too much of her,” I suggested. “You can’t repeat the past.” “Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why, of course you can!” He looked around wildly*. “I’m going to make everything as it was before. She’ll see.” And he talked about how confused his life had been since then. I understood that he wanted to recover* something, an idea of himself which had fallen in love with Daisy. If only he could return to a certain starting place and analyze everything carefully, to find out exactly what that something was… wildly with uncontrolled emotion recover recapture, get back

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One autumn night, five years before, he and Daisy had been walking down the street, with the leaves falling. Under the moonlight, they came to a place without trees, stopped and turned to each other. It was a cool night, there was excitement in the air and movement among the stars. Gatsby’s heart beat faster and faster and as Daisy’s face came up to his and he prepared to kiss her, he knew that his wild imaginings would never again torment him. So he waited a moment longer – and when he did kiss her, she blossomed for him like a flower. The vision was complete. Everything he said was shockingly sentimental, but it reminded me of something I had heard a long time ago – a fragment of lost words, some kind of unreachable rhythm. My lips parted as I opened my mouth to construct some kind of phrase, but no sound came out, and what I had remembered was now lost forever.

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After-reading Activities

Reading Comprehension 1 Look back at the events in this Chapter and decide whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F). 1 Jay Gatsby was very close to his parents. 2 He changed his name when he was a teenager. 3 When Gatsby worked for Dan Cody, he started drinking alone. 4 Tom invited himself to Gatsby’s house because he wanted to meet him. 5 Daisy was excited when she and Tom went to Gatsby’s party for the first time. 6 Gatsby told Nick that he now felt close to Daisy.

T

F

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Speaking / Writing 2 Imagine

the first meeting between the young Gatsby and Dan Cody. Work with a partner to write a short dialogue between the two men after Gatsby has come aboard Cody’s yacht on Lake Superior.

Gap-fill 3

Complete this text by filling in the gaps. When Tom and Daisy (1) _________ at Gatsby’s party, the host (2) ___________ them and told them to look around at the guests. “I’m sure you (3) ______ a lot of people here,” he said. But Tom (4) ________ Gatsby, saying that they (5) __________ very much. After Gatsby had (6) ____________ them to some of the other partygoers, he and Daisy (7) _________ a fox-trot and then they (8) ________ for half an hour, escaping to Nick’s house for some time (9) ___________ on his (10) ______. Nick (11) ________ in

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his garden all that time – “in case of (12) ________ or (13) ______,” Daisy said afterwards. Much later, after Nick had (14) _____ to (15) ______ late at Gatsby’s request, Gatsby told him of his (16) _____________. “Daisy didn’t (17) ________ herself, old sport,” he said, “but I’ll (18) _______ it all like it used to be.” Nick said that Gatsby was (19) ______________ too much (20) _____ Daisy – “it’s time you (21) ________ trying to repeat the past,” he told him. But Gatsby just (22) ________, “Why, (23) ____________ you can!”

Comprehension 4 Who said these words? 1 “Do you have anything to say, Mr Gatsby?” ________________ 2 “I’m afraid I’ve never bought a horse, so I’ll follow you in my car.” ________________ 3 “Would it be all right if I joined you all?” ________________ 4 “You can’t repeat the past.” ________________ 5 “I am so excited!” ________________ 6 “We’ll come to your next party, Mr Gatsby.” ________________

Grammar 5

Put these sentences into reported speech. 1 “Don’t you want to make a statement?” the reporter asked Gatsby. 2 “You must recognize a lot of people,” Gatsby said to Tom and Daisy. 3 “I think I want to find out who he is and what he does,” Tom insisted. 4 “I feel far away from her. I can’t make her understand.” 5 “I’m going to make everything as it was before.”

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Speaking / Writing 6 Do you think Gatsby behaved in an appropriate way while Tom and Daisy were at his party? Consider what happened after they arrived, up to the time they left, and write a short paragraph analysing Gatsby’s actions. Is his dream still alive? ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

Vocabulary 7 Find the correct definition for these words. 1 ■ day off 2 ■ wandering 3 ■ spoiled 4 ■ untidy 5 ■ lively 6 ■ greeted 7 ■ casually 8 ■ startled a disorderly b very surprised c full of energy, exciting d moving without a definite purpose or destination e free day f indulged excessively g said ‘hello’ to h in a relaxed way

Writing 8 Imagine

you are the young reporter who visits Gatsby’s house to investigate the stories about him. Write a short newspaper report about the information you managed to get.

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Pre-reading activities

Speaking / Writing 9 Here are the first and the last sentences of this Chapter. Can you predict what happens in between? Discuss in pairs or small groups and write a short paragraph to describe the events. One Saturday night, just when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest, the lights in his house stayed dark. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ In the twilight we continued to drive – towards death.

Note-taking 10 Tom’s car and Gatsby’s car play important roles in this Chapter. As you read, make notes on the connection between the characters and the two cars. WHICH CAR? ________________________ ________________________ ________________________

WHICH CHARACTER(S)? WHAT HAPPENS? ________________________ ________________________ ________________________

Grammar 11 Find words and phrases in this Chapter to fit these definitions. 1 being able to behave in a reasonable way (noun) ___________ 2 very surprised (adjective) ___________ 3 very direct, almost rude (adjective) ___________ 4 tell somebody that their job has finished (2 verbs) ________ / ___________ 5 do or say something stupid (verb phrase) ___________ 6 the feeling of being alone (noun) ___________

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Chapter Seven

Confrontation

10 One Saturday night, just when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest,

the lights in his house stayed dark. I wondered if he was ill, so I went over to find out. An unfamiliar butler looked at me suspiciously at the door. “Is Mr Gatsby sick?” I asked. “Nope – sir,” he replied, disrespectfully. “Please tell him Mr Carraway called.” “All right.” He slammed the door shut*. My Finnish housekeeper later told me that Gatsby had dismissed every servant in his house. The next day, Gatsby called me on the phone. “Are you going away?” I asked him. “I hear you fired your servants.” “No, old sport. I needed people who wouldn’t gossip. Daisy visits me quite often – in the afternoons.” “I understand.” He told me that he was phoning at Daisy’s request – would I come to lunch at her house tomorrow? Miss Baker would be there. Then Daisy called me half an hour later and seemed happy that I had accepted her invitation. I was suspicious; surely they wouldn’t choose this occasion for a scene*? slammed … shut closed (the door) with force, making a loud noise

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a scene (here) confrontation


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The next day was the hottest of the summer but the Buchanans’ salon was in shadow and was cool. Daisy and Jordan lay on an enormous couch. I heard Tom’s voice, sounding brusque, at the hall telephone. As Gatsby looked around the room, Daisy watched him and laughed excitedly. Jordan whispered to me: “The rumor* is that it’s Tom’s girl on the phone.” We were silent. Tom’s voice rose with anger. “Okay, I won’t sell you the car. I’m under no obligation. And don’t disturb me again at lunchtime!” He flew into the room and offered his hand reluctantly*. “Glad to see you, Mr Gatsby, sir… Nick…” “Make us a cold drink, Tom,” said Daisy. He left the room and she got up, went over to Gatsby and kissed him on the mouth. “You know I love you,” she murmured. “Don’t forget there’s a lady present,” said Jordan. “Why don’t you kiss Nick, too?” “What a vulgar girl!” “I don’t care!” Tom came back, followed by four gin-and-ice drinks. “Come outside and have a look at my place,” he suggested. I went with them. Gatsby pointed across the bay. “I live directly opposite.” “Yes, you do.” We had lunch in the cool dining-room, the atmosphere filled with nervous enthusiasm. rumor gossip, unverified information reluctantly unwillingly

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“What shall we do this afternoon?” cried Daisy. “Let’s go to town! It’s so hot!” Gatsby, who had been talking to Tom, looked towards her. “Ah, you look so cool,” she said. Their eyes met and they stared at each other, alone in space. “You always look so cool.” She had told him that she loved him – and Tom Buchanan saw. He was shocked. He looked at Gatsby, then back at Daisy. “Come on – we’re all going to town,” he said quickly. “I’ll go and find some whiskey.” Daisy and Jordan went off to get ready. Gatsby turned to me and said, “I can’t say anything in his house, old sport.” “Her voice is indiscreet,” I remarked. “It’s full of---” “Money,” he said suddenly, and I realized that he was right. Tom came back with a bottle wrapped in a towel, and Daisy and Jordan re-appeared. “Shall we all go in my car?” Gatsby suggested. “No, you take my coupe* and I’ll take your car to town,” replied Tom. “I don’t think there’s much gas,” Gatsby objected. “There’s plenty,” said Tom. “If I need to, I can stop at a drug-store. Come with me, Daisy.” But Daisy moved away from him and said, “No, you take Nick and Jordan. We’ll follow you in the coupe.” She walked close to Gatsby. Jordan, Tom and I got into the front seat of Gatsby’s car and we shot off* ahead of them into the oppressive heat. “Did you see that?” demanded Tom, looking at me searchingly*. “You think I’m stupid, don’t you?” But I’ve investigated this fellow.” “And you found that he was an Oxford man,” said Jordan. coupe two-door automobile shot off moved away as fast as a bullet

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searchingly (here) wanting to understand (why Nick said “See what?”)


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“Of course not! Oxford, New Mexico, perhaps!” Jordan was angry now. “Listen, Tom, if you’re such a snob, why did you invite him to lunch?” “I didn’t – it was Daisy. She knew him before we were married, God knows where!” We drove in silence for a while. When the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg appeared, Jordan remembered Gatsby’s caution about the level of gas in the car. “There’s a garage here,” she protested. “I don’t want to run out of fuel in this heat.” Tom stopped the car abruptly at Wilson’s garage. Wilson came outside and stared at the car. “Let’s have some gas!” shouted Tom. As Wilson began filling the tank, he said, “I’m sorry I interrupted your lunch, but I was desperate. I need money badly – what are you going to do with your old car?” “Do you want this one?” asked Tom. “I bought it last week.” “It’s nice,” said Wilson, “but no thanks. I can make some money with the other one.” “Why do you want money?” asked Tom. “My wife and I want to get away. We want to go West,” Wilson explained. “Your wife does?!” exclaimed Tom. “She’s been talking about it for ten years. I’m going to take her.” Tom’s coupe went by at high speed, creating a cloud of dust. A waving hand was seen briefly*. “How much for the gas?” asked Tom sharply. A waving … briefly (here) as she and Gatsby drove past, Daisy said hello with a hand gesture

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“A dollar twenty,” said Wilson. Then he continued: “I noticed something strange a couple of days ago – that’s why I want to get away.” I realized that he had discovered Myrtle’s secret other life – but he didn’t suspect Tom yet. I stared at him and then at Tom, and I had a sudden thought: Tom had made the same discovery nearly an hour ago about Daisy. Now there was no difference between Tom and Wilson. “I’ll send you the car tomorrow,” Tom told Wilson. As I turned to look at the giant, protective eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, I noticed that – less than 20 feet away – another pair of eyes was watching us with peculiar* intensity. In one of the windows over Wilson’s garage, the curtains were open a little, and Myrtle Wilson was peering* down at the car. She didn’t know that I could see her. I realized that her wildly jealous eyes were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she assumed to be his wife. We left Wilson and Tom was panicking. Both his wife and his mistress were no longer under his control. He went faster and faster, until we could see his blue coupe ahead of us. “I love New York on summer afternoons, when everybody’s away,” commented Jordan. Suddenly the coupe stopped and Daisy shouted to us. “Where are we going?” “What about the movies?” “It’s so hot. You go. We can ride around in the car and meet you afterwards.” “We can’t discuss it here,” said Tom, impatiently. “Meet me in front of the Plaza, on the south side of Central Park.” peculiar (here) unexpected peering staring, looking intently

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By the time we were opening windows in a large, hot suite at the Plaza Hotel, it was already four o’clock. “It’s lovely here,” whispered Jordan, and everybody laughed. “Just forget about the heat,” said Tom impatiently. He put the whiskey on the table. “Why don’t you leave her alone, old sport?” remarked Gatsby. “You’re the one who wanted to come to town.” “Where did you get that expression of yours, anyway?” asked Tom sharply. Daisy reacted. “Tom! I won’t stay if you’re going to make personal remarks. Order some ice for our mint julep*.” Tom looked at Gatsby suddenly. “I understand you’re an Oxford man, by the way.” “Yes.” A waiter came in with crushed mint and ice. “I’d like to know when you went there,” Tom continued. “It was in 1919, but I only stayed five months. So I guess I’m not really ‘an Oxford man’.” Daisy got up and went to the table. “Open the whiskey, Tom, and I’ll make you a drink. Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself.” “Wait a minute,” Tom snapped back. “I want to ask Mr Gatsby one more question.” “Please do,” Gatsby said politely. “What kind of argument are you trying to start in my house?” At last everything was out in the open* – and Gatsby was content. “You’re the one starting something, Tom. Have some self-control, please,” said Daisy desperately. julep sweet syrup out in the open no longer secret

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“Self-control!” cried Tom. “So now the fashionable thing to do is let Mr Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, I don’t approve of that.” “Actually, old sport, I’ve got something to tell YOU,” started Gatsby, but Daisy guessed what he was going to say. “Please don’t! Oh, let’s all go home.” “That’s a good idea,” I said. “Come on, Tom. Nobody here wants a drink.” “I want to know what Mr Gatsby wants to say to me.” “Your wife doesn’t love you. She’s never loved you. She loves me.” “You must be crazy!” cried Tom. Gatsby jumped to his feet with excitement. “She only married you because I was poor and she didn’t want to wait any more. It was a terrible mistake. In her heart she never loved anybody except me.” Jordan and I tried to leave but Tom and Gatsby insisted that we stay. “What’s been going on, Daisy? I want to hear all about it.” Tom tried to sound paternal. “I’ve told you already,” said Gatsby. “Going on for five years – and you didn’t know.” Tom turned to Daisy. “Have you been seeing him for five years?!” “Not seeing,” explained Gatsby. “We couldn’t meet. But we both loved each other all that time, old sport. And you didn’t know.” “You’re crazy!” exploded Tom. “I can’t say what happened five years ago, because I didn’t know Daisy then. But Daisy loved me when she married me and she loves me now!” Gatsby shook his head. “No.” “Oh, yes, she does,” Tom insisted. “And I love her, too. Sometimes I make a fool of myself, but in my heart I love her all the time.”

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“You’re disgusting.” The voice was Daisy’s. Daisy hesitated. She looked at Jordan and me. “I never loved him,” she said, with obvious reluctance. “Not that day I carried you to keep your shoes dry… Daisy?” said Tom, now with tenderness. “Please don’t.” Daisy’s voice was cold. She looked at Gatsby. “Oh, Jay, you want too much! I love you NOW – isn’t that enough? I can’t do anything about the past. I did love Tom once – but I loved you too.” Gatsby was incredulous. “You loved me TOO?” “That’s not true, either,” Tom interrupted. “She didn’t know if you were alive or dead.” “I want to speak to Daisy alone,” Gatsby insisted. “Even alone I can’t say I never loved Tom,” Daisy admitted. “That wouldn’t be true.” “Exactly,” agreed Tom. Daisy turned sharply to Tom. “Don’t pretend it’s important to you.” “It is important. I’m going to take better care of you from now on*.” Gatsby panicked. “You don’t understand. You’re not going to take care of her at all any more.” “Oh, really?” Tom laughed. “Daisy’s leaving you.” “Ridiculous!” “Actually, I am,” Daisy said, with visible effort*. “She’s NOT leaving me,” Tom cried, “and certainly not for a common trickster* who would have to steal the ring for her finger!” “Stop this, please!” cried Daisy. “Let’s get out.” “Who are you, anyway? A friend of Meyer Wolfsheim, I know that from now on from this moment effort verbal (and, here, psychological) energy

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trickster charlatan


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much. I’ve investigated you a little – and I’m going to continue.” “Go ahead if you want to, old sport,” said Gatsby calmly. Tom turned to us. “I know what his ‘drug-stores’ were. He and Wolfsheim bought a lot of them here and in Chicago, for selling grain alcohol. I knew he was a bootlegger, the first time I saw him.” “So what*, old sport?” “Don’t call me ‘old sport’!” Daisy was looking terrified. She stared at Gatsby and her husband, then at Jordan. I looked at Gatsby and I was startled; at that moment he really looked as if he had ‘killed a man’. He began to defend himself against all accusations. But with every word, Daisy was slipping further away* from him, so he stopped. The dream was dead, and all that was left in that afternoon was unhappiness, despair and Daisy’s lost voice, begging. “PLEASE, Tom! I can’t stand any more of this.” “Go home, Daisy,” he said. “In Mr Gatsby’s car.” She looked at Tom with alarm. “Do it,” Tom insisted. “I think he realizes his little flirtation is over.” I remembered it was my birthday. I was thirty. Stretching before me was a new decade of loneliness. It was seven o’clock when Jordan and I got into the coupe with Tom and started for Long Island. Tom talked and laughed without stopping, but I hardly heard him. Jordan sat beside me; at one point her face fell against my shoulder and I felt the comfort of her hand. In the twilight* we continued to drive – towards death.

So what (colloquial) “What is the importance of that?” slipping further away (figurative) disappearing, becoming more distant

twilight almost darkness at the end of the day

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After-reading Activities

Note-taking 1 Imagine you are Nick. Compare lunch at Tom and Daisy’s house with their dinner party in Chapter 1. What is the same and what is different this time? Make notes in the chart below. THE SAME

DIFFERENT

Comprehension 2 What does Gatsby mean when he tells Nick that Daisy’s voice is “full of money”?

Speaking 3 The

character of Tom seems to change dramatically in this Chapter. Why? Does his relationship to any of the other characters change, too? Discuss in pairs or small groups.

Comprehension 4 Put

these sentences into the right order to describe the “confrontation”. A ■ Tom demands to know about Daisy’s acquaintance with Gatsby. B ■ Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy has never loved him. C ■ Gatsby tells Tom to calm down. D ■ Tom tells Daisy to go home with Gatsby in his car.

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E ■ Daisy tries to persuade everyone to go home. F ■ Tom asks Gatsby about his time at Oxford. G ■ Tom insists that he and Daisy love each other. H ■ Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy is going to leave him. I ■ Daisy admits that she loves Gatsby but that she also loved Tom once. J ■ Gatsby makes Daisy say that she never loved Tom. K ■ Tom says that he has investigated Gatsby and found out that he is a bootlegger. L ■ Gatsby explains why he and Daisy didn’t get married five years before.

Grammar – CAE-type activity 5 Use

appropriate forms of the verbs in CAPITALS to complete these sentences. 1 Tom __________________ the opportunity to ask Gatsby about his past. WAIT 2 Tom ______________ Gatsby when Daisy _____________ to New York. TALK, SUGGEST, GO 3 The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg ___________ (already) ______________ when Tom _________ at Wilson’s garage. APPEAR, STOP 4 Wilson said his wife _____________________ ten years about ___________ from life at the garage. TALK, GET AWAY 5 Myrtle had been ________________ Jordan in the car while Wilson ___________ Tom about his plans. STARE, TELL 6 By the time everybody ____________ in the hotel suite, the tension within the group (already) ___________. ARRIVE, INCREASE

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Grammar 6 Use these key words to make complete sentences. 1 2 3 4 5 6

Tom – Gatsby – Oxford education – confront Daisy – bottle – Tom – order – whiskey – drink – make Gatsby – Tom – Daisy - marry – tell – poor – wait Nick – Jordan – leave – Tom – want – Gatsby – insist on Daisy – Gatsby – make – love – say – never – Tom promise – carry on – Tom – Gatsby – investigate

Reading 7 Read these quotations and identify who is talking. 1 “I hear you fired your servants.” 2 “And don’t disturb me again at lunchtime!” 3 “You know I love you.” 4 “What a vulgar girl!” 5 “I noticed something strange a couple of days ago – that’s why I want to get away.” 6 “Going on for five years – and you didn’t know.” 7 “I’m going to take better care of you from now on.” 8 “I can’t stand any more of this.”

Vocabulary 8 Find the correct definition for these words. 1 ■ unfamiliar a have no more supply of 2 ■ fired b hear, believe 3 ■ run out of c imploring 4 ■ understand d dismissed from work 5 ■ terrified e very frightened 6 ■ begging f not recognised

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Pre-reading activities

Speaking/Writing 9 You know from the end of Chapter 7 that there will be “death” in this Chapter. Whose death will occur, do you think – one person or more? Look at the title of Chapter 8 and then discuss in pairs or small groups.

Vocabulary 10 As

you read, make a list of adjectives connected to these characters:

Michaelis ______________________________________ Tom Buchanan ______________________________________ George Wilson ______________________________________ Gatsby ______________________________________ Nick ______________________________________ Daisy ______________________________________ Jordan ______________________________________ Myrtle ______________________________________

Comprehension 11 Look at this list of events and put them into the correct sequence while you read this Chapter. A B C D E F G H

■ Myrtle challenged her husband to hit her. ■ Tom was in his car with Jordan and Nick when he arrived at Wilson’s garage. ■ Michaelis had been sleeping before he walked over to see Wilson. ■ Nick saw Tom and Daisy talking in the kitchen. ■ Gatsby was waiting for Nick in the darkness. ■ Jordan rang Nick while he was at work. ■ Nick didn’t sleep well all night. ■ Wilson showed Michaelis something suspicious.

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Chapter Eight

Chaos

11 Michaelis, the young Greek restaurant manager in the valley of ashes,

was the principal witness* at the inquest*. He had slept until after 5pm, because of the heat. Afterwards he walked over to Wilson’s garage and found George Wilson looking ill. Michaelis told him to go to bed, but he refused. Suddenly there was a lot of noise upstairs. “My wife is locked in up there,” said Wilson calmly. “She’s going to stay there until the day after tomorrow. That’s when we’re moving away.” Michaelis was astonished. Then Wilson started asking what Michaelis had been doing at certain times on certain days. The Greek became suspicious – and then luckily he had to go back to the restaurant to serve some customers. When he finally returned to Wilson’s, just after seven o’clock, he heard Mrs Wilson’s loud voice, downstairs in the garage. “Beat* me,” she was crying, “knock me down and beat me, you dirty coward*!” Suddenly she rushed out into the semi-darkness, waving her hands and shouting. And before Michaelis could do anything, the ‘business’ was over.

witness person giving evidence inquest investigation into a cause of death

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The newspapers called it ‘the death car’. It came out of the darkness… swerved* for a moment… and didn’t stop. Michaelis thought the color was light green, but he wasn’t sure. The car going in the opposite direction, towards New York, stopped a hundred yards further on and the driver hurried back. But Myrtle Wilson was already dead and her thick dark blood was mixed with the dust on the road. There was no need to listen for a heartbeat. We saw three or four cars and the crowd as we approached Wilson’s garage. “A crash!” said Tom. “That’ll be good for Wilson’s business.” He slowed down – and then stopped when he saw the faces at the garage door. “We’ll take a look.” As we walked towards the door, I heard an empty cry and understood the words “Oh, my God!” being repeated again and again. Tom stood on tiptoes* to see into the garage. Then he made a violent sound and pushed powerfully through the crowd. Myrtle Wilson’s body was wrapped in two blankets on a work-table. Tom was bending over it, not moving, next to a policeman writing in a book. Wilson stood at the door to his office, his body moving backwards and forwards. “Oh, my God!” he was moaning. Tom lifted his head and demanded: “What happened? I want to know.” “She ran outside into the road,” someone said. “Auto hit her. Killed instantly. Son-of-a-bitch* didn’t stop.” “The car was travellin’ 30, 40 miles an hour,” Michaelis told the policeman. “It was a big yellow car,” said a well-dressed negro. “New. And it was goin’ 50 or 60, not 40.” swerved moved suddenly to one side (to avoid something) on tiptoes on the front part of the feet (to see at a higher level)

Son-of-a-bitch (vulgar) bastard

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Suddenly Wilson changed his cries of “Oh, my God!” to “I know what type of car it was!” Tom was tense. He went over to Wilson. “Pull yourself together. Listen to me. I just arrived here from New York. That yellow car I was driving wasn’t mine. Do you hear me?” “What color is your car?” the policeman asked Tom, suspiciously. “It’s a blue coupe.” Tom carried Wilson into his office and sat him in a chair. Then he came back and whispered to me: “Let’s get out.” We drove away slowly at first, then we raced ahead* through the night. I could hear Tom crying quietly and tears ran down his face. “The coward!” he muttered. “He didn’t even stop.” Tom and Daisy’s house appeared. On the second floor, the lights in two windows were on. “Daisy’s home,” he said. He offered to call a taxi for me and then he offered me supper. But I didn’t want food – I wanted to be alone, even from Jordan. She realized that and went quickly inside. I walked away from the Buchanans’ house. Then I heard my name and Gatsby appeared from the bushes* in the darkness. “What are you doing?” I asked him. “Just standing here, old sport. Did you see any trouble on the road?” “Yes.” “Was she killed?” “Yes.” “I told Daisy I thought so. She reacted quite well, in the circumstances. raced ahead (here) drove very fast bushes small trees

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I arrived at West Egg by a side road. I don’t think anyone saw us. Who was the woman?” “Her name was Myrtle Wilson. Her husband owns the garage. How did it happen?” “Well, I tried to take the steering wheel, but---” Suddenly I guessed the truth. “Was Daisy driving?” He hesitated. “Yes – but of course I will say that I was driving. You see, she was very nervous in New York and I thought that driving would calm her. Then this woman came out in front of us, it seemed that she wanted to speak to us, like she knew us. I tried to make Daisy stop, but she couldn’t. “I’m going to wait and see if he tries to do anything to her,” Gatsby went on. “She’s locked herself in her room.” I saw lights on downstairs and in Daisy’s room on the second floor. “Wait here,” I told him. “I’ll go and see.” I went quietly around the lawn. Through the kitchen window I saw Daisy and Tom, sitting at a table, talking. They didn’t look happy, but they didn’t look unhappy, either. It was actually a picture of natural intimacy. My taxi arrived. I went back to Gatsby, waiting in the driveway. “It’s all quiet,” I reassured him. “Come home and get some sleep.” “No. I want to wait here until Daisy goes to bed. Good night, old sport.” I left him standing in the moonlight – watching over nothing. I was awake all night – disturbed by a fog-horn on Long Island Sound and tormented by frightening dreams. At dawn I heard a taxi

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at Gatsby’s and I got dressed immediately. I needed to warn him about something. He was in his hall, looking heavy with depression or sleep. “Nothing happened,” he said. “I waited, and at four o’clock she came to the window, stood there and then turned out the light.” “You should go away,” I said. “The police will certainly trace* your car.” “Go away NOW, old sport?” He wouldn’t even consider leaving Daisy until he knew what she intended to do. And now he wanted to talk about Daisy. She was the first ‘nice’ girl he had even known – exciting, too, and desirable. Her house was the most beautiful and romantic he had even been in. He liked the idea that many men already loved Daisy and he felt their presence in that house. But he knew that he was with Daisy purely by chance. He was a man without money, without a past, with just a uniform to mask the truth. So he used his time in the best way possible… and one still October night he and Daisy made love. He let her believe that he was on the same social level as she was. Two days later, on her porch, when she turned to him and he kissed her lovely mouth, he realized that he loved her. “I can’t describe to you how surprised I was, old sport. I thought that she would refuse me, but she didn’t. She loved me, too.” On their last afternoon before the soldier Gatsby went abroad, he held Daisy in his arms. He kissed her dark shining hair. In their month of love, they had never been closer. trace (here) investigate and find

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He was very successful in the war. Afterwards, he tried desperately to get home, but by mistake he was sent to Oxford. Daisy’s letters were desperate – why couldn’t he come home? She needed him beside her. Then Daisy’s social life became hectic again – she was desperate to find direction in life, through love, money or something else. Change came in the spring, when Tom Buchanan arrived. He was big – in body and in social standing*, and Daisy was flattered. Gatsby received her letter while he was still at Oxford. It was dawn* on Long Island now and we finished opening the downstairs windows. A golden light filled the house. Gatsby turned to me. “I don’t think she ever loved him. You must remember, old sport, she was very excited this afternoon. What he told her frightened her. She didn’t know what she was saying. “Of course, she might have loved him for a minute, when they were first married. In any case, it was just personal.” Gatsby came back from France while Tom and Daisy were still on their honeymoon. He stayed in Louisville for a week, miserable, walking the streets and re-visiting the places he and she had driven to in her white car. Daisy’s house had been mysterious and gay; now the city was filled with melancholy beauty. When he left, he felt that he was leaving Daisy behind, that he could have found her if only he had searched harder. It was nine o’clock. We finished breakfast and went out on the porch. The air felt autumnal. The gardener – the last of Gatsby’s original servants – announced that he was going to drain* the swimming pool. standing (here) position, reputation dawn first light of the day drain (verb) take the water out of

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“Don’t do it today,” Gatsby said. Then he turned to me. “You know, old sport, I’ve never used the pool all summer.” I didn’t want to leave Gatsby and go to work in the city, so I intentionally missed two trains before finally leaving. “I’ll phone you.” “Do that, old sport. I suppose Daisy will call too.” “Yes, probably.” We shook hands and I walked across the lawn. Then I turned back to him. “They’re a rotten* crowd, “I shouted. “You’re worth all of them put together.” That was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him – but I’ve always been glad I said that. He nodded, then he smiled radiantly. “Goodbye. I enjoyed breakfast, Gatsby,” I called. At work I fell asleep in my chair. At noon, the telephone woke me. It was Jordan Baker; usually her voice was fresh and cool, but today it seemed dry and hard. “You were not very nice to me last night, but I want to see you. How about this afternoon?” “No, I don’t think so. Various---” We talked like that for a while and then suddenly the conversation ended. I don’t know which one of us ended it, but I didn’t care. I decided to take the three-fifty train home, so I sat back in my chair and thought about what had happened at Wilson’s garage after we left there the night before. rotten morally corrupt

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An ever-changing crowd of people stayed until after midnight, while George Wilson sat on the couch and rocked back and forth. Michaelis stayed with him until dawn. At about three o’clock, Wilson started talking about the yellow car, and the fact that a couple of months ago, his wife had come back from New York with her face bruised* and a swollen* nose. Michaelis tried to distract him. “How long have you been married, George?” “Twelve years.” “Have you got a church, George? Maybe I can call a priest to come and talk to you.” “Don’t belong to any church.” For a moment Wilson sat still. Then he pointed at his desk. “Look in the drawer.” Michaelis opened it and pulled out a new leather dog-leash*. “I found it yesterday afternoon,” explained Wilson. “She tried to tell me about it, but I knew there was something strange. It was wrapped in tissue* paper.” Michaelis didn’t think there was anything unusual about that – but Wilson thought differently. “Then he killed her,” he said, his mouth dropping open suddenly. “Who?” “I can find out.” “You don’t know what you’re saying, George. It was an accident.” “It was the man in that car. She ran outside to speak to him and he didn’t stop.”

bruised discoloured (from being hit) swollen expanded (from being hit)

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dog-leash strap (usually made of leather) attached to a dog’s collar tissue thin, decorative (fabric)


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It was around five o’clock. Michaelis turned off the light. Wilson looked outside towards the ashheaps. “I told her that she could fool* me but she couldn’t fool God.” He got up and went to the back of the office. “I took her to the window and said, ‘God knows everything. God sees everything!’.” Michaelis was shocked. Wilson was looking out of the window towards the enormous eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. By six o‘clock Michaelis was exhausted. After cooking some breakfast, he went home to sleep. When he returned four hours later, he hurried back to the garage but Wilson was gone. Afterwards, the police traced most of Wilson’s movements. He was on foot, he bought a sandwich and a cup of coffee, some boys saw him ‘acting a bit crazy’, then he disappeared for three hours. Perhaps he was asking about the yellow car at all the garages. By halfpast two, he was in West Egg, and he asked someone for directions to Gatsby’s house. So he knew Gatsby’s name by that time. At two o’clock, Gatsby changed into his bathing-suit and told his butler that any phone calls should be brought to the pool. He took a mattress with him. The butler stayed awake but by four o’clock there was no telephone message. Gatsby’s chauffeur heard the gunshots* but at the time he didn’t think it was anything serious. I drove directly to his house from the station and we all hurried to the pool. The water hardly moved, there was a small circle of red and the mattress with the body moved irregularly around. As we were returning to the house with Gatsby, the gardener saw Wilson’s body in the grass. The tragedy was complete.

fool (verb) play a trick on, deceive gunshots sounds of a gun being fired

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After-reading Activities

Comprehension 1 Look at these quotations and identify who is talking and about what / whom? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

“He didn’t even stop.” _____________ “a picture of natural intimacy” _____________ “She reacted quite well, in the circumstances.” _____________ “They’re a rotten crowd.” _____________ “God sees everything!” _____________ “That’ll be good for Wilson’s business.” _____________ “You don’t know what you’re saying, George. It was an accident.” _____________

Listening 11

2 Imagine

that you are a newspaper reporter at the inquest into Myrtle Wilson’s death. Listen to the details of the witness Michaelis about what happened and fill in the document below.

Name of witness _______________________________________ Name of dead person _ _________________________________ Time of accident _______________________________________ Exact location of accident _______________________________ Details of car involved (colour, speed travelling) _____________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Sequence of events (according to witness) _________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________

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Speaking 3 Why do you think Myrtle Wilson ran out of the garage “waving her hands and shouting”? Was it only because she had been arguing with her husband, or was it for another reason? Discuss in pairs or small groups.

Comprehension 4 Match the words and phrases on the left with those on the right. 1 ■ Michaelis 2 ■ Gatsby 3 ■ ‘the death car’ 4 ■ Myrtle Wilson 5 ■ Louisville 6 ■ God 7 ■ George Wilson 8 ■ Daisy’s house 9 ■ Tom 10 ■ Nick

a b c d e f g h i j

social standing “you dirty coward!” restaurant manager “They’re a rotten crowd” mysterious melancholy mattress the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg yellow “Oh, my God!”

Grammar – CAE-type activity 5 Read this text about Daisy and Gatsby’s past and decide on the most appropriate answer for each gap. You can use facts from the book to help you. Example: 0

A determined

B realized

C announced D was thinking

When the most popular girl in Louisville (0) ____ that she was in love with a young lieutenant (1) ____ to go overseas to fight in the Great War, she had actually fallen for an (2) ____. Jay Gatsby was a (3) ____ soldier, a man without a past, who decided that the way to Daisy’s heart was (4) ____ his uniform and (5) ____ that he was (6) ____ the same social class. When the successful soldier was sent unintentionally to Oxford after the war was over,

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Daisy became increasingly desperate – but only for a short while. Her social life (7) ____ again and she found herself the centre of attention again when Tom Buchanan of Chicago appeared (8) ____ the social scene. Despite a last-minute drama involving a letter from Gatsby and Jordan Baker putting Daisy into a cold bath, the wedding went (9) ____ and two more (10) ____ lives collided. Now, five years later, another illusion was (11) ____ created across the (12) ____ from West Egg. 1 A who was

B sent

C about

D thinking

2 A illusion

B delusion

C impression

D illustration

3 A rich

B successful

C young

D penniless

4 A by

B through

C about

D from

5 A supposing

B also

C pretending

D intending

6 A in

B of

C about

D enjoyng

7 A settled down B stopped

C picked up

D took up

8 A in

B on

C at

D within

9 A away

B out

C over

D ahead

10 A incomparable

B incompatible C unforgettable D successful

11 A been

B just

C almost

D being

12 A bay

B beach

C river

D sea

Speaking / Writing 6 By the end of this Chapter, a number of changes have occurred, affecting the main characters’ situations. List the events which have definitely resulted in change and those which perhaps have changed things. DEFINITELY ________________________ ________________________ ________________________ ________________________

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PERHAPS… ________________________ ________________________ ________________________ ________________________


Pre-reading activities

Speaking 7 How do you think the story will end, after the triple tragedy of Chapter 8? What will happen to Nick and Jordan and to Tom and Daisy? What does the title of this Chapter – “Seeing the Light” – refer to?

Comprehension 8 Read Chapter 9, then decide whether these statements are true (T) or false (F). 1 Nick is looking back on events which happened over five years ago. 2 Nick tried to contact Tom and Daisy on the day of Gatsby’s murder. 3 Gatsby’s father sent a telegram from Milwaukee. 4 Mr Gatz was very proud of his son’s achievements. 5 Klipspringer ‘the boarder’ telephoned Nick to say how shocked he was. 6 Meyer Wolfsheim saw Nick immediately after Gatsby’s death. 7 Nick telephoned Jordan Baker to ask her to go back East with him. 8 Tom saw Nick one afternoon in New York.

T F

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Vocabulary / Note-Taking 9 As you read this Chapter, find the words to fit these definitions. 1 return (verb) _________________________ 2 very serious _________________________ 3 concentrated on ______________________ 4 well-mannered _______________________ 5 said in a very low voice ________________ 6 made … believe ______________________

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Chapter Nine

Seeing the Light

12 Two years later I remember the rest of that day, and that night and the

next day: policemen, photographers and newspapermen in and out of Gatsby’s house. Somebody – possibly a police detective – described Wilson as a ‘madman’, which was the way the newspapers focused on the incident the next morning. Most of the reports were untrue. Michaelis told the inquest that Wilson was suspicious of his wife, and I expected Myrtle’s sister to provide exaggerated details; but Catherine said nothing. She told the inquest she was convinced that Myrtle had never seen Gatsby and that she was perfectly happy with her husband. Wilson was categorized as a man ‘deranged* by grief*’. I found myself alone, and on Gatsby’s side. As I started to tell West Egg village, I had to deal with every question, every assumption about him. At first I was surprised and confused, then I realized that no one was really interested and that, in the end, I would be responsible for all the practicalities. Half an hour after we found Gatsby, I instinctively telephoned Daisy. But she and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, with their baggage. deranged mentally disturbed grief intense sadness (because of a death)

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“Did they leave an address or say when they would be back?” I asked. “No.” “Where are they? How can I contact them?” “I don’t know.” I tried to reach Meyer Wolfsheim, but I only managed to leave messages. I sent the butler to New York with a letter, insisting he come on the next possible train. I felt sure that he would, and I was convinced that Daisy would send a telegram. But neither came. Only more police and photographers and newspapermen. Then the butler brought back Wolfsheim’s answer, and I felt that it was Gatsby and me against the world. Dear Mr Carraway, This is a terrible shock to me. I cannot believe that this man carried out such a mad act. I cannot come because I have some very important business here and I can’t get involved. If I can do anything later, please let me know by letter. I am completely knocked down and out*. Yours truly MEYER WOLFSHEIM Under the signature, he had quickly written: I don’t know his family. Let me know about the funeral, etc. That afternoon the phone rang from Chicago and I was convinced that it was Daisy at last. But a man’s voice announced the name ‘Slagle’ and said, “Did you get my telegram? There’s trouble---” and knocked down and out shocked and unable to think coherently

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when I interrupted and said, “Look here – I’m not Mr Gatsby. He’s dead!”, there was a long silence and then the connection was broken. Three days after the terrible event, a telegram signed Henry C. Gatz arrived from Minnesota. It said the sender was leaving immediately and the funeral should be postponed until he arrived. When Gatsby’s father arrived, on a warm September day, I met a solemn old man who seemed lost. He was almost crying with excitement, he pulled at his grey beard and when he looked like he would collapse, I took him into the music room and ordered a glass of milk. But he refused to sit down. “I saw it in the Chicago newspaper. I came immediately. It must have been a madman.” “Wouldn’t you like some coffee?” I insisted. “I’m all right, thank you, Mr---” “Carraway.” “Where is Jimmy?” I took him into the drawing-room where Gatsby lay and I left him there. After a while Mr Gatz opened the door and came out crying, his mouth open. At his age, death was no longer a surprise and when he looked around at his son’s splendid house, his grief was soon mixed with pride. I took him upstairs into one of the bedrooms and then I told him that all ‘arrangements’ had been postponed until his arrival. “I didn’t know what you wanted, Mr Gatsby – whether you wanted to take the body back home.” “Gatz is my name,” he said. “Were you a friend of my boy’s?”

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“We were close friends.” “He had a big future ahead of him, you know. He was very intelligent. He would have been a great man if he’d lived – a countrybuilder.” “That’s true,” I said uncomfortably. Mr Gatz tried to take the cover off the bed and then he lay down and instantly fell asleep. That night a frightened person telephoned and asked who I was. When I told him, he sounded relieved*. “This is Klipspringer.” I was happy, too. There would be another friend at Gatsby’s grave*. “The funeral’s tomorrow at three o’clock, here at the house,” I said. “Please tell anyone who would be interested.” “Oh, I will… if I see anyone.” “You will be there yourself, won’t you?” I asked suspiciously. “I’ll certainly try. Actually, I called because---” “Wait a minute,” I interrupted. “Why don’t you just say you’ll come?” “Well, I’m staying in Greenwich and the people here want me to go for a picnic with them tomorrow. Of course I’ll try to come. Actually, I called about a pair of tennis shoes I left there. Could you send---?” I hung up*. On the morning of the funeral, I went to New York to see Meyer Wolfsheim. I pushed open his door and the place seemed deserted. A beautiful Jewish woman appeared and said “Mr Wolfsheim’s gone to Chicago.” relieved free from anxiety grave tomb

hung up put down the telephone suddenly (to end the conversation)

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She was lying – I could hear someone whistling. “Please say that Mr Carraway wants to see him. It’s about Gatsby.” “Oh! Will you please wait here? What was your name?” And then she vanished*. In a moment, Wolfsheim was standing in the doorway, welcoming me. We went into his office and he remarked that it was a sad time for all of us. He offered me a cigar. “When I first met him, he was a young major with a lot of medals. He had no money to buy any clothes so he lived in his uniform. The first time I saw him, he came into a pool-room* on Forty-third Street and asked me for a job. I offered him lunch because he hadn’t eaten for two days.” “Did you start him in business?” “I made him in business! I saw that he was a gentlemanly young man and I knew that I could use him well. We worked closely together in everything.” “And now he’s dead,” I added. “You were his closest friend so I know you’ll want to come to his funeral.” “I’d like to – but I can’t get involved. If a man gets killed, I keep my distance.” I could see that he did not want to come, so I stood up. “Let us show our friendship for a man when he is alive, and then leave everything alone after he is dead,” Wolfsheim pronounced. It was drizzling* when I arrived back in West Egg. I found Mr Gatz walking up and down the hall. He was excited and proud of his son and he had something to show me. “Jimmy sent me this pretty picture – look,” he said. With trembling vanished disappeared pool-room public hall for playing pool (similar to billiards)

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fingers, he opened his wallet and pulled out a dirty photograph of Gatsby’s house. “Had you seen him recently?” I asked. “He came to see me two years ago and bought the house I live in now. Of course we were devastated* when he ran away from home but I realize now that it was for a reason. He had a big future ahead of him and he knew it. And after he was successful, he was very generous with me.” Mr Gatz then pulled an old book from his pocket. “He had this when he was a boy.” In the back, the word SCHEDULE was written, and the date: September 12, 1906. Underneath: Rise from bed 6:00am Exercise 6:15-6:30 Study electricity 7:15-8:15 Work 8:30-4:30pm Baseball and sports 4:30-5:00 Elocution* 5:00-6:00 Study of necessary inventions 7:00-9:00 GENERAL INTENTIONS – No wasting time, no more smoking or chewing*, bathe every other day, read one improving book or magazine a week, be better to parents. “I found this book by chance,” said the old man. “It was obvious that devastated shocked Elocution Public speaking

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Jimmy would be successful. He was determined*.” He didn’t want to close the book – I think he wanted me to copy down his son’s list and use it myself. Just before three o’clock, the minister* arrived and Gatsby’s father 13 and I began to expect other cars. The servants waited in the hall, the rain continued. I asked the minister to wait another half an hour, but nobody came. At five o’clock our procession of three cars arrived at the cemetery – the hearse*, the limousine carrying Mr Gatz, the minister and me, and then the servants and the West Egg postman in Gatsby’s station wagon. I heard another car stop and the sound of someone walking on very wet ground. I saw the man with owl-eyed glasses whom I had met in Gatsby’s library three months before. I don’t know how he knew about the funeral, I didn’t even know his name. He took off his thick glasses and wiped the rain away, so that he could see the grave. I tried to think about Gatsby but I could only remember that Daisy hadn’t sent a message or any flowers. Somebody muttered “Blessed are the dead that the rain falls on” and the owl-eyed man said “Amen to that”. We all walked quickly back to the cars. ‘Owl-eyes’ spoke to me by the gate. “I couldn’t get to the house.” “Nobody could,” I said. “You’re joking! My God, hundreds of people used to go to Gatsby’s!” Then he wiped his glasses again. “The poor son-of-a-bitch,” he said. 14 After Gatsby’s death the East haunted* me and I decided to come back home. But I needed to do one more thing before I left – something determined tenacious minister church representative

hearse vehicle to carry a dead body haunted obsessed

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unpleasant and not very easy. I saw Jordan Baker and talked to her about what had happened to us and then what had happened afterwards to me. Sitting in her golf clothes, she listened to me without speaking and then casually she told me that she was engaged to another man. I pretended to be surprised and then I got up to say goodbye. “You did finish with* me,” Jordan said suddenly. “On the telephone. I don’t care about you now, but it was a new experience for me then and I was a little confused.” We shook hands. “You told me once that a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver,” Jordan added. “Well, that’s what happened to me, didn’t it? I actually thought you were an honest person.” Half in love with her, and extremely sorry, I turned away. One afternoon late in October I saw Tom Buchanan. He was walking aggressively along Fifth Avenue, ahead of me. Suddenly he stopped, turned and saw me and walked back. I refused his hand. “What’s the matter, Nick?” “You know what I think of you.” “You’re crazy,” he said. “Tom, what did you say to Wilson that afternoon?” I demanded. Tom stared at me and I knew that I had guessed correctly. I turned away, but he took me by the arm. “I told him the truth,” he said. “Daisy and I were about to leave and he came to the door. His hand was on a revolver* in his pocket and he was crazy enough to kill me. I told him whose car it was. finish with (here) stop your romantic relationship with revolver handgun

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The Great Gatsby

Gatsby ran over* Myrtle the same way you would run over a dog. And he didn’t even stop.” I couldn’t say anything – not even tell the truth, that Gatsby hadn’t been the driver. “I suffered too, Nick,” Tom went on, “when I went to that flat in New York. I saw the dog biscuits and I cried like a baby.” I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but he believed that what he had done was right. It was careless and confused – just like the kind of people Tom and Daisy were. I shook hands with Tom and he disappeared into a jewelry store. When I left West Egg, Gatsby’s house was still empty. The grass on his lawn was as long as mine. One Saturday night a car went up his drive and its lights stopped at Gatsby’s front steps. I didn’t investigate – perhaps it was a final guest who had been away and didn’t know that the party was over. On my last night, I went to look again at Gatsby’s house. Then I went down to the beach and lay on the sand. Most of the places along the shore were closed now and there weren’t many lights. A ferryboat moved across the Sound; the moon rose higher. As I sat there, I thought of Gatsby’s excitement when he first saw the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. His dream must have seemed so close, but he did not realize that it was already behind him. Gatsby believed in that green light, the bright future which disappears year after year before our eyes. Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms out farther and maybe one morning… Until that day, we carry on, against the flow*, carried back constantly into the past.

ran over passed over (in the car) and killed flow current

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After-reading Activities

Comprehension 1

Who is being described in these phrases? 1 “deranged by grief” _________ 2 “she was perfectly happy with her husband” _________ 3 “completely knocked down and out” _________ 4 “Did you get my telegram? There’s trouble---” _________ 5 “his grief was soon mixed with pride” _________ 6 “… read one improving book or magazine a week…” _________ 7 “Blessed are the dead that the rain falls on” _________ 8 “careless and confused” _________ 9 “half in love … and extremely sorry” _________ 10 “I saw the dog biscuits and I cried like a baby.” _________

Grammar – CAE-type activity 2 Rewrite

these sentences, using the verbs in brackets in an appropriate tense. a It would have been impossible for Nick to imagine that hardly anyone would help him to organise Gatsby’s funeral. Nick (not realize) how little help he would get in (organize) Gatsby’s funeral. b Tom told Wilson that Gatsby’s car ran over Myrtle; perhaps that is why Gatsby is dead. If Tom (tell) Wilson whose car (run over) Myrtle, then Gatsby still (might) (be) alive. c Wilson was described as “deranged by grief” because of Catherine’s evidence at the inquest. It (be) Catherine’s evidence at the inquest which (result) in Wilson (be labelled) as “deranged by grief”. d To Nick’s surprise, when the day of the funeral arrived, Daisy hadn’t rung or sent a message. Nick (expect) a telephone call or message from Daisy but nothing (arrive) by the day of the funeral.

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e Both Meyer Wolfsheim and Henry Gatz were convinced that a madman had murdered Gatsby. Both Meyer Wolfsheim and Henry Gatz (comment) that Gatsby’s murder (must) (be) the work of a madman. f When Tom said “Gatsby ran over Myrtle”, Nick wasn’t able to reveal the true driver that day. Not even when Tom said “Gatsby ran over Myrtle” Nick (tell) him the truth that Daisy (drive) that day.

Listening – CAE-type activity 13

3a Listen to this short extract describing Gatsby’s funeral and answer these questions. 1 What was the weather like before the funeral? Did it change when everybody was at the cemetery? ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 2 How many cars in total were at the funeral service for Gatsby? Who was in them? ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 3 Why was ‘Owl-eyes’ surprised when he talked to Nick afterwards? ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________

3b Now listen again. If necessary, correct these sentences and give more information. The funeral procession of four cars left Gatsby’s house at five o’clock. Nick remembered that his first Gatsby party had been six months before. Nick was only thinking about Daisy during the funeral service. ‘Owl-eyes’ took his glasses off to talk to Nick. ‘Owl-eyes’ didn’t like Gatsby.

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FOCUS ON...

Scott and Zelda – a romance “beautiful and damned”

Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, 1920

First meeting When Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre first met and danced together at a country club in Alabama in July 1918, Scott was a 22-year-old, smartly dressed lieutenant who “smelled like new goods” and the 18-year-old Zelda was the most popular girl in her home city of Montgomery. Beautiful, flirtatious and from a wealthy family, Zelda could have had any of the numerous college boys and soldiers who were trying to win her hand. Instead, it was the penniless soldier who captured Zelda’s heart; Fitzgerald wrote in his personal journal that he fell in love with her on 7 September, and an informal engagement began. 134


Job frustration Scott expected to go overseas to fight in the Great War but the conflict ended in November 1918 and the following February, he was discharged from the military. He went to New York to look for work and earn his fortune; however, he managed only to find a low-paid job in an advertising firm. He wrote nineteen short stories and tried to get them published in magazines but was successful with only one. “I was a failure,” Fitzgerald wrote in his essay My Lost City, “mediocre at advertising work and unable to get started as a writer”.

Rejection Meanwhile Zelda continued her busy social life in Montgomery and her letters to Scott – despite his depression about work and lack of success and its pressure on their relationship – gave details of parties, dances and the many boys she was dating. In March 1919, she was overjoyed when Scott sent her an engagement ring which had been his

mother’s; but three months later, by mistake Zelda sent Scott a note which she had written when returning a present to another boy. Scott rushed to Montgomery; he begged Zelda to marry him but was shocked when she turned him down. The engagement was over.

Reunited Scott returned to his parents’ home in St Paul, Minnesota, to continue writing – he revised material which he had started in the army – and he and Zelda no longer exchanged letters. “It was one of those tragic loves doomed for lack of money,” he wrote in his 1936 essay The Crack-Up. “During a long summer of despair I wrote a novel instead of letters, so it came out all right.” That novel, This Side of Paradise, was finally accepted by the publishers Scribner’s in September 1919 and Scott immediately contacted Zelda again. Both realised that they were still deeply in love and they quickly resumed their engagement.

And so began… Scott’s novel was published in March 1920, selling out on its first printing. He and Zelda were married in St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York the following month. The struggling writer had become a literary celebrity and now had a beautiful, rich wife at his side. Two months before the wedding, with all his friends warning him about marrying the “wild, pleasure-loving” Zelda, Scott had offered a simple explanation in one of his letters: “I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything”. And so began a whirlwind life of parties, poverty, jealousy, alcoholism, mental illness and, finally, separation… with deep mutual love running throughout. “We ruined ourselves,“ Scott wrote to Zelda in 1930, when she was first hospitalized, “I have never honestly thought that we ruined each other.” 135


FOCUS ON...

The Genesis of a Classic Aspiration In October 1922, a year after their child “Scottie” was born, the Fitzgerald family decided to move from Scott’s home town of St Paul, Minnesota, to Great Neck, Long Island. Scott’s second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, had been published earlier that year and over the summer he had been writing and re-writing a play, “The Vegetable”. Scott wanted to be near Broadway, hoping that he would find a theatrical producer to stage the play, so Great Neck – a town where many important people from journalism and entertainment lived – seemed an ideal choice.

Inspiration Great Neck lay across the bay from Manhasset Neck, which was home to a number of wealthy, well-established families. In The Great Gatsby, Great Neck became West Egg, where the “nouveau riche” lived, and Manhasset Neck served as the inspiration for the “old wealth” of East Egg, home of Daisy and Tom Buchanan.

Distraction The Fitzgeralds rented a house in Great Neck for six months, but writing progressed slowly for Scott. He became a close friend of the sportswriter and humorist Ring Lardner, who also lived in Great Neck and who, like Scott, was an alcoholic. Fitzgerald even introduced Lardner to his publishing editor at Scribner’s, Maxwell Perkins. But life was expensive in this Long Island town, and Fitzgerald drank heavily, although he was always sober when he wrote. Zelda’s drinking also increased, and she and Scott had frequent domestic rows.

Task 1 What’s your opinion of the various ‘working titles’ for this book? (Perhaps you need to look up online who Trimalchio was and the connection for Fitzgerald!) What do you think Fitzgerald’s final choice Under the Red White and Blue refers to? 2 Despite Fitzgerald’s comment about “greatness”, what do you think the word “great” refers to in the title The Great Gatsby? Discuss in pairs or small groups.

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Scott Fitzgerald writing at his desk, 1920

Decisions!

Relocation and Survival It was only towards the end of the Fitzgeralds’ stay in Great Neck that Scott began the draft version of what was to become The Great Gatsby. In May 1923, the family relocated to Europe and settled on the French Riviera, where Scott was able to finish the novel. Meanwhile, news arrived from America of the failure of his play “The Vegetable” after only one week of performances in Atlantic City. This put Fitzgerald further into debt and forced him to write short stories to survive. By the end of the year, the family had moved again, this time to Rome, and Scott spent 1924 revising his material several times. He also wrote a humorous article for the magazine Saturday Evening Post called “How to Live on $36,000 a Year”, detailing his and Zelda’s lifestyle in Great Neck.

While he was writing his third novel, Scott Fitzgerald considered a number of titles, including Gatsby, Among the Ash Heaps and Millionaires, Trimalchio, Trimalchio in West Egg, On the Road to West Egg, Gold-hatted Gatsby and The High-bouncing Lover. When Fitzgerald sent material to his editor in October 1924, the title was The Great Gatsby; but one month later he wanted Trimalchio in West Egg. The publishers didn’t like this title and Fitzgerald suggested Gold-hatted Gatsby at the same time as instructing them to call it The Great Gatsby! In January 1925, he wrote to his editor Maxwell Perkins: “The Great Gatsby is weak because there’s no emphasis even ironically on his greatness or lack of it.” Less than a month before publication in April 1925, Fitzgerald sent a telegram from the island of Capri: “CRAZY ABOUT TITLE UNDER THE RED WHITE AND BLUE – WHAT WOULD DELAY BE?”. But it was too late; Perkins told him that the novel had already been marketed as The Great Gatsby, so the title couldn’t be changed. Fitzgerald later remarked that the published title was "only fair, rather bad than good". 137


FOCUS ON...

The Jazz Age Charles Martin, The Tango, 1920

One Long Party The Jazz Age was a ten-year period between two “Greats”: the end of The Great War (see page 140) and the beginning of the Great Depression which followed the stock-market crash on Wall Street of October 1929. Scott Fitzgerald coined the phrase “The Jazz Age” in his 1931 essay Echoes of The Jazz Age. America experienced, he said, “the greatest, gaudiest spree in history”. 138

“Listen in!” After the war, radio became the first form of mass-market entertainment. Everybody wanted one, even though a radio was an expensive luxury at that time. By 1922, the variety of radio broadcasts had expanded greatly and people heard all kinds of music, including jazz – from the comfort of their own living-room.


Style Jazz was an Afro-American style of music – mixing blues, ragtime and marching band – which had started in New Orleans around 1895. Jazz’s main characteristic was improvisation from a simple, well-known melody – spontaneous music-making which gave a feeling of joyful free spirit… and the musicians involved often couldn’t read a note of music! So the Jazz Age didn’t simply mean that people were enjoying jazz music; it also signified that they had decided on a particular lifestyle.

Social Mix It may have been started by Afro-Americans, but throughout the 1920s jazz was expanded and its traditions adopted by white middleclass Americans. Even the jazz performers were mainly white, so black musicians didn’t get much ‘airtime’ on the radio! The Jazz Age witnessed a unique social ‘marriage’ between the poor person’s music and the wealthy social classes who went crazy about it – the ones who liked to appear at Gatsby’s parties!

On the Surface and Underneath Classic images of the Jazz Age include showgirls, flappers, speak-easies and the kind of lavish entertainment described in

The Great Gatsby. Dance was also popular, in particular the provocative Charleston, which was first seen in a Broadway show in 1923. The Great Gatsby deals with such themes as glamour, beauty and material success but through its characters and the events which unfold, it also hints at the rougher side of this period – superficiality, frustration and, ultimately, disillusionment.

The Party’s Over By the late 1920s, the sense of adventure had disappeared. Fitzgerald observed that “in 1926 we looked down and noticed we had flabby arms and a fat pot”, while a year later “a widespread neurosis began to be evident”. He described the deaths of some of his friends as a way of illustrating this social decline: “contemporaries of mine had begun to disappear into the dark maw of violence. A classmate killed himself and his wife on Long Island, another tumbled “accidentally” from a skyscraper in Philadelphia, another purposefully from a skyscraper in New York. One was killed in a speak-easy in Chicago; another was beaten to death in a speak-easy in New York and crawled home to the Princeton Club to die… these things happened not during the depression, but during the boom.” The financial crash and the lean years were not far off.

Task Research online the following terms from this Dossier: showgirl, flapper, speak-easy, the Charleston, radio, jazz.

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FOCUS ON...

How America joined The Great War “Out of War” When the First World War – known as “The Great War” until World War Two – broke out in August 1914, America’s President Woodrow Wilson immediately declared that the country was neutral. Although some people thought that the United States would eventually be drawn into the conflict, the majority supported the country’s position of neutrality – in fact, when Wilson campaigned for his successful re-election in 1916, his slogan was “He kept us out of war”. President Woodrow Wilson Task ONLINE RESEARCH Find some online information about America’s campaign in The Great War, from the time she joined the war (April 1917) until the end of hostilities in November 1918. How many American soldiers fought in Europe and did they suffer heavy casualties?

American soldiers, First World War

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A European Matter The First World War was the result of tension throughout Europe and was fought between two rival European alliances, the Triple Alliance of Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy and the Triple Entente of Russia, France and Britain. Americans viewed this war as a complicated European matter and when they heard about the barbaric conditions of the trenches, they were convinced that the right decision had been made.

talking of “a peace of reconciliation, peace without victory”. Re-elected the following November, the President asked both sides what would make them willing to end the war? Germany’s answer was unclear, while for Britain and France military victory was the only option. Wilson continued to insist on mediation, based on the idea of a League of Nations (eventually set up after the Treaty of Versailles in 1919).

Nothing Safe President Wilson even adopted the policy of ‘fairness’, which meant that America could lend money to both the Alliance and the Entente and also would trade with the two sides. But when Britain imposed a naval blockade along the German coastline, it became almost impossible for America to do business with Germany. As a result, the Germans decided to use submarines (“U-boats”) to attack ships, including merchant vessels and those flying a neutral flag.

A goodbye kiss, First World War

What Price Peace?

America Joins Up

In May 1915, the passenger ship Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat and 128 Americans died. Germany said the ship was not American (it belonged to the British Cunard Line) and, after much diplomacy, President Wilson accepted a German change of policy: from now on, U-boats would come to the surface to attack ships with guns, rather than firing torpedoes from under the water. By the end of 1915, Wilson had suggested a peace initiative between Britain and Germany, with America acting as intermediary. In February 1916, a memorandum was signed, with Wilson

In January 1917, Germany announced that she was starting “unrestricted submarine warfare”, using her fleet of U-boats. President Wilson broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, to try to make her change her mind. But by late March, seven American merchant ships had been sunk by the Germans. On 2 April, Wilson called Congress together and four days later, America joined The Great War. It would be nearly two years before Americans could forget about the miseries of this very European war. 141


test yourself 1_ Imagine you are Jay Gatsby the soldier or Daisy Fay from Louisville. You have just had your first evening out together. Access your personal e-mail account and write to your best friend, describing the meeting and how you feel about her/him. 2_ Jay Gatsby became rich and bought a house across the bay from Daisy’s as part of his plan to win her back. Would you have done the same thing? Consider everything that happened in the five years between their first meeting and the time when Nick moves to West Egg. 3_ Write an obituary for Jay Gatsby. Which aspects of his character and life would you include? 4_ Imagine you are Nick Carraway. You have returned to your home town in the Midwest and you are describing to a friend your experiences of the last six months in West Egg. 5_ In 1934 Scott Fitzgerald wrote: “It is sadder to find the past again and find it inadequate to the present than it is to have it elude you and remain forever a harmonious conception of memory.” Is this what happens to Jay Gatsby in the story? Write a short paragraph about Gatsby’s plan and whether or not he succeeds. 6_ In May 1940, seven months before his death, Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his publisher, Maxwell Perkins: “… to die, so completely and unjustly after having given so much … in a small way I was an original”. Do you think there is any link between what Gatsby represents and the real-life experiences of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald?

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Syllabus Level B2 This reader contains the items listed below, as well as those listed in Levels A1, A2, B1 and B2. Verbs: Present perfect simple and continuous Past perfect simple and continuous with time clause by Future tenses Phrasal verbs Modal verbs Could/could have (probability/ past ability) Should Will Would/would have (future in the past) Might/might have (present/past possibility) Must/must have (present/past deduction) Must not (prohibition) Reporting verbs (eg. ask, reply, interrupt, repeat, suggest, comment, react, suppose, answer, explain)

Other: Gerund/What clause as subject as sentence subject Inversion Free indirect question What as subject pronoun (in clause) although, even though be about to … when As (= when) time clause It was (+ time word/phrase) … that If only… If clauses (‘zero’, etc.) So (+ adjective) that... Time clauses Before…/By…/As… the first (time) … ever the only… By the time… clause So result clause


YOUNG ADULT

READERS

STAGE 1

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

STAGE 2

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

STAGE 3 STAGE 4

William Shakespeare, Macbeth Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

STAGE 5

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Henry James, The Turn of the Screw Emily BrontĂŤ, Wuthering Heights

01_144_GreatGatsby  

YOUNG ADULT READERS ELT STAGE 5 C1 C1 YOUNG ADULT READERS The FSC certification guarantees that the paper used in these publications comes f...

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