The roaring twenties come alive in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel, “The Great Gatsby.” Amidst the glitz and glamour of the era, hidden secrets and forbidden affairs lurk beneath the surface. One such secret is revealed during a fateful dinner where the ringing phone disrupts the carefully constructed facade.
Table of Contents
Unveiling the Caller
As the clinking of glasses and laughter fills the room, the phone rings, shattering the tranquility of the moment. Jordan Baker, a sharp and observant character, unveils the caller’s identity. She reveals that it is none other than Tom’s mistress on the line, remarking on the lack of decency in calling during dinner. The revelation adds a layer of scandal and intrigue to the gathering.
The Fifth Guest
Dubbed the “fifth guest,” Tom’s mistress arrives unexpectedly, turning the dinner into a veritable ménage à trois. The tension thickens as the butler, a silent spectator, assumes a seat at the table. Jordan Baker, ever the informant, shares a secret with Nick Carraway about Tom Buchanan. She reveals that Tom is terminally ill, or perhaps in trouble with the police. The conflicting rumors add to the mystery surrounding him.
Initially, Daisy, Tom’s wife, seems nonchalant as he is called away. However, a flicker of something stirs within her, evident in her sudden departure from the table. Daisy’s actions, coupled with her peculiar attentions toward Nick, paint a picture of a complex and emotionally conflicted character.
Intriguingly, the table is left to speculate about the nature of the call. Jordan Baker suggests that Tom is merely pretending to speak about a car, while Daisy suspects he is conversing with his secret lover, Myrtle. Tempers rise, alliances shift, and the dinner party becomes a simmering cauldron of unspoken truths.
While Tom is engrossed in his mysterious conversation, Jordan takes the opportunity to confide in Nick. She divulges that the call is indeed from Tom’s mistress in New York. The revelation casts a dark shadow over the remaining course of the evening. Nick, unsettled by the tension and awkwardness, contemplates alerting the authorities. Daisy, however, chooses a different path, pulling Nick aside to share her newfound cynicism.
The Web of Deception
As the web of deception unravels, questions arise. Whom does Jordan Baker suspect Tom is talking to on the phone? She suggests his lover, but the truth remains elusive. Who is the woman who dares to interrupt the dinner? Later, we learn her name: Myrtle Wilson, a character whose presence lingers throughout the narrative. We also discover that Tom converses with George Wilson about a car, adding another layer of complexity to their relationship.
The affair exposed during this ill-fated dinner highlights the ethically questionable morals of the wealthy class represented by Tom and Daisy. The unscrupulous use and subsequent abandonment of people is a recurring theme, emphasizing the darker underbelly of this seemingly glamorous era.
Tom Buchanan’s Controversial Words
Tom’s dominating presence is palpable, as he spouts controversial ideas during the meal. He asserts that the survival of white civilization hinges on “beating down” other races. His words reveal an unattractive side to his character, showing a callous disregard for others.
Daisy, on the other hand, reveals her vulnerability through a damning accusation against Tom. The black and blue knuckle on her little finger, resulting from a physical altercation, is attributed to her husband’s brutish nature. Despite acknowledging that the injury was accidental, Daisy laments her choice in marrying such a physically imposing man.
The Consequences Unveiled
The bruises on Daisy’s hand foreshadow a darker fate yet to come. Tom’s propensity for violence, both verbal and physical, is exposed as he unleashes his brutality upon those he deems inferior. His brutal language strikes fear into the hearts of George Wilson and Gatsby, and will ultimately culminate in a violent act against Myrtle Wilson.
In “The Great Gatsby,” the ringing of a phone disrupts the facade of opulence and reveals the hidden desires and indiscretions of the characters within. As the story unfolds, the consequences of these actions will reverberate through the lives of those involved, forever altering their destinies.