Chapter VII


Preoccupied by his love for Daisy, Gatsby calls off his parties, which were primarily a means to lure Daisy. He also fires his servants to prevent gossip and replaces them with shady individuals connected to Wolfshiem. He also says that Daisy plans to invite Nick for lunch, and shortly afterwards Daisy does just that.

The next day, exceedingly hot, Nick goes to Tom and Daisy's, where he finds that Jordan and Gatsby have already arrived. The gathering is briefly interrupted by a visit from Tom and Daisy's daughter (in the company of her nurse) and Gatsby can hardly believe the child is real, as Daisy seems almost uninterested in her child. During the awkward afternoon, Gatsby and Daisy cannot hide their love for each other. Complaining of her boredom, Daisy asks Gatsby to go into the city. Gatsby stares at her passionately, and Tom becomes certain of their feelings for each other.

Itching for a confrontation, Tom agrees that they should all go to New York together. Nick rides with Jordan and Tom in Gatsby's car, and Gatsby and Daisy ride together in Tom's car. As they drive, Tom comments that he has done some digging into Gatsby's past, and has discovered he is not what he says he is. Before the conversation can go any further, and as they pass the billboard with the eyes, they realize they need gas, and stop at the Wilson's station. There, Tom and Wilson discuss the sale of Tom's car. It becomes clear that Wilson has found out about his wife's affair, but doesn't know the identity of her lover, and is planning to take his wife out west.

When the group arrives in new York, Tom confronts Gatsby about his feelings for Daisy, and the two men quickly get into an argument. Daisy tries to mediate, eventually confessing that while Gatsby insists she never loved Tom, she actually did. Meanwhile, Tom accuses Gatsby of involvement in Wolfshiem's bootlegging business and hints that he is also involved in even shadier activities. Gatsby attempts to defend himself to Daisy, but Nick comments that Daisy pleaded with both Gatsby and Tom to stop. Tom sends her home with Gatsby in Gatsby's car (strange decision isn't it ?).

Narration then shifts to Michaelis, 'the principal witness at the inquest'. Michaelis became perturbed when he went to the Wilson's garage and learned, from Mr. Wilson, that he had locked his wife in her room and was planning to leave with her in a couple of days. He later heard an argument between the two, after which Mrs. Wilson rushed out into the night, was hit and killed by a speeding car that fled the scene. A few moments later, the car driven by Tom and carrying Nick and Jordan arrives at the scene. After they glimpse Mrs. Wilson's body and learn what happened, Tom confronts Wilson, insisting that although the car that hit Mrs. Wilson was the same car he had been driving that afternoon (i.e. Gatsby's car), it was not his car and that Tom was now driving his own car. As the police continue the investigation, Tom, Nick and Jordan slip away to continue the journey home, the weeping Tom muttering to himself angrily about how Gatsby 'didn't even stop his car'.

Nick is visited by Gatsby, who asks about Mrs. Wilson and, when he hears that she is dead, confesses that it was Daisy driving and that he, Gatsby, has every intention of saying it was him (he wants to protect her because he really loves her, but does Daisy deserve it ?).

Themes and Character Analysis


Shadiness associated with Wolfshiem and his business activities : rumors are true that Gatsby did indeed make his money in unsavory ways.


Her reaction to the appearance of her daughter reveals something about Daisy, portraying her as excitedly loving, but only for a moment, and not really deeply loving at that. Her daughter, apparently quite desperate for genuine affection from her mother, is almost completely dismissed, her attempts to please basically glanced at and then forgotten. The scene reinforces previous impressions that Daisy is profoundly and primarily self-interested and self-gratifying.

Her insistence that she drives with Gatsby into New York, are intended to humiliate Tom by rubbing his nose in her affair like he rubbed her nose in his.

The reference to her voice being full of money : she is sensitive and attracted to money, which, in turn, can be lavished on her. Money is one of the reasons she is married to Tom, money is one of the reasons she was uneasy about Gatsby in the beginnings of their relationship, money is one of the reasons she becomes re-connected with him - or, more specifically, one of the things he uses to successfully attract her.

Daisy does not confess the truth that she was driving : she is profoundly, frighteningly self-interested. Then there is Gatsby's stated intention to sacrifice himself for Daisy's freedom and well-being. She doesn't love him, or value their relationship, in the way he loves her / or values the relationship.

Emotional tension and violence

Reflected by the escalating heat in New York. As previously discussed, the party and violence in the first party scene in New York foreshadows the party and emotional violence of this scene. It is interesting to note, however, how the emotional violence at both parties results in physical violence done to Myrtle Wilson (the poor have to pay for the misery of the rich !).


The strange comment that he forgot his own thirtieth birthday (so drown into the other's life that he forgets his own) : the intensity of the drama being constructed by Daisy, Gatsby and Tom. Their self-involvement, their self-dramatization is so intense that they draw people around them into it, perhaps another reason why Nick rejects the self-involvement of the people who have essentially taken over his life. Nick loses his innocence, he realizes that people are self-destructive.