When Tom, Gatsby, Daisy, Jordan and Nick go out in New York, Tom and Gatsby are having a quarrel about Gatsby’s past, his bootlegging career, and about their love for Daisy. Eventually, Tom sends Daisy back to Long Island with Gatsby. When Myrtle rushes out into the dark, Gatsby’s yellow car hits her and she is instantly killed. F. Scott Fitzgerald used little stars to arrange the chapter in different storylines. My additional chapter can be placed between two different stories, the story of Michaelis, Mr. Wilson and Myrtle and the story of Tom, Nick and Jordan discovering the car accident, realizing that it must have been Gatsby and Daisy who had killed Myrtle. These two storylines are both written in chapter 7, so my additional chapter can be placed within this chapter (page 144, stimulus material).
This additional chapter is about Daisy and Gatsby, when they are driving in Gatsby’s big yellow car. The book does not explain in detail what happened during this ride and I was interested in what did happen. What were Daisy’s and Gatsby’s reactions when they hit Myrtle, why didn’t they stop, and where did Daisy and Gatsby talk about?
My main objective was to write a new chapter that could be placed in the real book. To complete this objective I referred to things that happened in the previous chapters. The most important reference is the fight Gatsby had with Tom about Daisy. Tom also confronted Gatsby with his own past, speaking about his bootlegging career. In my additional chapter I referred to the fight these two guys had, and I also mentioned Gatsby’s bootlegging career. “Did you indeed sell grain alcohol over the counter?” (written in the additional chapter). This referred to page 140 of the book: “He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter.”
An important theme of the book is love. Gatsby’s love is perfectly showed in this additional chapter, because by taking the blame for the car accident, he demonstrates his love for Daisy. He still loves her very much, and therefore also stays outside to watch over Daisy, while Tom and Daisy are sitting in the house.
In chapter 7, Nick meets with Gatsby after the accident in front of Daisy’s house. He then explains what happened, although without any details, during the ride. Using this passage and the information of the fight in New York, I tried to make this additional chapter. There are not many differences between the explanation of Gatsby to Nick and my additional chapter. Another objective, although not a very important one, was the lay-out of the page. I tried to imitate it as best I could, by using little stars and indentations.
Primary and secondary sources:
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1994), Penguin Books
– Chapter 7: page 119 – 152, passage Gatsby and Nick: page 149 – 152
Website Sparknotes: www.sparknotes.com
An additional chapter to the Great Gatsby
Gatsby ran after Daisy, called her name and asked her to wait.
‘I admit I have been rude to Tom, butâ€¦?’
‘You were indeed heartless, and why did you say to Tom that I did not love him? Of course I do, I married him remember?’
An uncertain look was back again on Gatsby’s face, while Daisy hurried to the car, struggling with her own feelings.
Gatsby insisted to drive, but Daisy answered: ‘No, I’m sure that I will calm down during the ride.’ ‘You should not drive in this condition; I will drive us to Long Island.’ But Daisy did not hesitate and got in the car.
When they were on their way to Long Island, Daisy’s eyes were constantly focused on the road before them, while Gatsby tried to say something, although he was unable to find the correct words. Daisy suddenly asked Gatsby: ‘Did you indeed sell grain alcohol over the counter? Do not lie to me.’
Gatsby muttered, but eventually decided to just tell the truth. ‘Yes I did, but I am sorry for it, and I still love you, and I know you love me too.’ ‘No I don’t, I chose for Tom and I will not leave him. I did love you earlier this evening, but it was unacceptable how you spoke to Tom about me.’
There was another silence and Daisy kept gathering speed. In the meanwhile, Gatsby broke into a cold sweat and asked quietly if she could lower her speed. Suddenly a woman appeared in the light of the vehicle headlights and it all happened within a minute. Gatsby thought the woman recognized them or the car, but Daisy was driving too fast, so she had no choice but to drive up towards the woman. Another car was driving toward New York, and although Daisy first turned away from the woman toward the other car, she all of a sudden lost her nerve and turned back to the woman. Gatsby tried to reach the wheel to make her stop, but he was too late. The car hit the woman, but Daisy kept driving. Gatsby again tried to stop Daisy and he eventually pulled on the emergency brake. Daisy became too emotional and asked Gatsby to drive further. Although Gatsby was also still in shock, he made an attempt to drive the car, but first asked Daisy why she didn’t stop.
Daisy remained silent, and Gatsby continued driving. Finally Daisy started to talk: ‘I did not stop becauseâ€¦,’ she burst into tears and Gatsby tried to calm her, although that was impossible. When they arrived at Daisy’s house, she asked Gatsby in an extremely calm manner: ‘Who was that?’
Gatsby didn’t answer and shook his head. Daisy continued her questions and asked why this woman suddenly appeared on the road. The last question made Gatsby shiver.
He slowly repeated the question to himself. ‘Did I kill this woman?’ He then quietly answered her that he didn’t know who that woman was. He also said: ‘Shouldn’t we go back to assure she’s not dead?’
‘No, people will probably recognize the car and me either, as I was the driver of the car.’
They both got out of the car and Gatsby said: ‘Okay, we will not return to the place where the accident has occurred, and I promise you that you will not be punished. It would make life easier for you, but also for me if I say that I was the driver. There will also be people who believe it was Tom who killed her, because he was driving toward New York, sitting in my car. But you don’t want him to be punished, right?’
Daisy discovered a sarcastic tone, and answered furiously: ‘No, I don’t want Tom to be punished, but you will. You dislike him because of his love for me, but if you would excuse me, I would like to go inside.’
Gatsby followed Daisy to her front door and said: ‘I will take the blame, I was the driver and I killed that woman.’
‘You keep talking about a dead woman, but maybe she’s only injured or heavily wounded. Please, leave me alone now. I have to think about this, about Tom’s and your words, and about what happened.’
Daisy opened the door and when she was turning around to close the door, Gatsby said that he would, if necessary, wait the entire night to guarantee that Tom would not bother her about the unpleasantness of this afternoon. Daisy answered him that it was very nice of him and that she would turn the light out and on if Tom hurt her. Then she went inside and closed the door.
Gatsby was astonished. He did not understand why Daisy was furious, and suddenly ended up being friendly. He stepped behind two bushes and waited for Tom.