In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the reader will find this chapter the most important and, well, the juiciest.
For those who are really pressed for time, you can check out below for the key points.
Key Points of The Great Gatsby Chapter 7:
- Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan are having an affair.
- Gatsby goes to Daisy’s house on the hottest day of the year. Gatsby, Tom, Daisy, Jordan, and Nick all decide to leave the Buchanan’s house and go to New York City. Tom, Jordan, and Nick take Gatsby’s yellow car, while Daisy and Gatsby have Tom’s blue car.
- Tom stops for gas in the Valley of Ashes and sees that Myrtle and George are fighting. George tells Tom he wants to move out west.
- At the hotel in New York, Gatsby presses Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him. Daisy can’t quite bring herself to say that.
- Daisy gets quite upset. She and Gatsby leave in Gatsby’s car to drive home.
- In the Valley of Ashes, Myrtle sees the yellow car approaching and believing that it’s Tom driving, she runs out onto the road, where she is hit and killed. Gatsby’s car speeds away.
- Tom and crew show up a few minutes later, and Tom sees that Myrtle is dead. Tom tells George who owns that yellow car.
- Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy was driving.
As you can see, this is a very important chapter in this novel where everything seems to go wrong for Gatsby. And Myrtle!
- Related Topic: The Great Gatsby Annotations Chapter 1
What Happens in Chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby?
Nick is surprised to find no party at Gatsby’s house the following Saturday night. He discovers that Gatsby not only canceled any future parties, but he has also fired all but a minimum of servants.
Gatsby and Daisy are having an affair in the afternoons, and in the hope of preventing gossip, Gatsby and Daisy are keeping things as quiet as possible.
Later, Nick gets an invite to go see Daisy and Tom at their mansion in East Egg. It’s the hottest day of the summer, and Nick is surprised to see Gatsby there, along with Jordan Baker, Tom, and, of course, Daisy.
Daisy sends Tom to the other room to get drinks. As he steps out, Daisy flies across the room and kisses Gatsby openly saying, “I love you, and I don’t care who knows it!”
Tom is still going back and forth, talking to Myrtle on the phone, and everyone tries to ignore this.
Daisy and Tom’s daughter Pammy shows up for a minute. Pammy shows off her dress, Daisy kisses her, and Gatsby looks shocked as if he didn’t realize Pammy existed.
- Related Topic: The Great Gatsby Annotations Chapter 2
Why Did Tom and Gatsby Switch Cars in Chapter 7?
Everyone talks about what they should do on such a hot afternoon when Daisy tells Gatsby, “You always look so cool.”
The room’s tension is unbearable since everyone knows the phrase means Daisy loves Gatsby. Tom realizes that his wife is having an affair, and he is angry about it.
To break the tension, everyone decides to go to New York City and enjoy a day at the Plaza Hotel. Tom asks if he can drive Gatsby’s yellow car since he’s considered buying one.
Gatsby and Daisy take Tom’s blue car, and Nick, Tom, and Jordan drive in Gatsby’s yellow car.
As they approach the Valley of Ashes, Tom notes that the car needs gas, so he stops at George Wilson’s garage.
George is also not having a good day. He tells Tom that Myrtle is seeing someone. He knows because she came back with a dog leash, no dog, and a broken nose. He asks Tom for a car to sell so he can take Myrtle and move out West.
Tom sees Myrtle is locked in her apartment upstairs. She’s literally clawing at the window, begging Tom to rescue her, but Tom simply drives away in the big yellow car.
The cars meet up at the Plaza Hotel, where everyone now sits around drinking again in the oppressive heat.
- Related Topic: The Great Gatsby Annotations Chapter 3
What Happens Between Tom and Gatsby in Chapter 7?
Tom starts picking a fight with Gatsby. He accuses him of lying about being an Oxford man. For once, Gatsby tells the truth and says that he only attended classes for a few months.
The two men argue for a while, and Tom seems to be upset that his wife is having an affair with “Mr. Nobody from Nowhere”. He accuses Gatsby of being a bootlegger. Daisy comes to his defense and says that it isn’t true, Gatsby owns drugstores, an idea that Tom openly laughs at.
Gatsby presses Daisy to say the line he wants her to say. He wants Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him, that she really only ever loved Gatsby.
While Daisy tries to get the words out, she can’t bring herself to quite say that line. She does tell Tom that she loves Gatsby. However, when Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy never loved him, Tom addresses Daisy directly, asking her if she never loved him at certain times during their marriage.
Daisy simply can’t say it. Daisy may be many things, but she’s not a liar. Daisy yells out to Gatsby, telling him that he wants too much. “I love you now, isn’t that enough?”
Gatsby and Tom start shouting at one another. Tom says that Gatsby is just a dirty bootlegger. Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy is not only leaving him but also divorcing him.
Daisy can’t stand to hear anymore. She begs to go home, and Tom sends Daisy and Gatsby home, telling Gatsby to drop off Daisy at home.
Nick realizes, suddenly, it’s his 30th birthday. Tom has another drink in Nick’s honor, then Jordan, Nick, and Tom all leave to go home in Tom’s blue car.
- Related Topic: The Great Gatsby Annotations Chapter 4
How Does Chapter 7 of the Great Gatsby End?
As Tom approaches the Valley of Ashes, there is a commotion in the street, along with police cars. Something is going on, so Tom stops to see.
Tom enters George’s garage and see’s Myrtle lying dead on the table. People explain that a big yellow car, driving very fast, hit Myrtle when she ran out into the street. The car didn’t stop.
Nick, Tom, and Jordan know that the big yellow car belongs to Gatsby.
George Wilson is inconsolable. Tom reveals to George who the owner of the car is. The party returns to Tom’s car, and he drives them to his house in East Egg.
Jordan asks Nick to come inside the house, but Nick is disgusted with everyone, and he declines. As he starts to leave, he sees Gatsby outside Tom’s house, hiding in the bushes.
Gatsby asks Nick if everything is OK. Nick is furious, thinking Gatsby killed a woman and didn’t even stop. This is when Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy was driving, and he figured the woman was dead, so they left but that he will take full responsibility for what happened.
Gatsby asks Nick to check on Daisy and be sure that she is OK. Nick peeks in through the kitchen window and sees Tom and Daisy talking and holding hands. He realizes that the couple has made up, but he doesn’t tell Gatsby this.
Nick tells Gatsby that Daisy seems fine and that he should go home. Gatsby tells Nick that once he’s sure Tom isn’t going to beat Daisy or abuse her, he will leave.
Nick leaves Gatsby sitting outside in the moonlight and goes home.
Related Topic: The Great Gatsby Annotations Chapter 8
What Does Chapter 7 Reveal about Gatsby?
In this chapter, we see that nearly everyone is wearing the proverbial rose-colored glasses and sees things only as they want to see them.
Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy causes him to act a bit irrationally. He insists, some might even say he demands, that Daisy tell Tom she never loved her husband.
For Gatsby, these words are important. If Daisy never loved Tom, then her heart has always belonged only to him. He can see Daisy as “pure” rather than a fickle woman who loves more than one man.
However, after Daisy hits and kills Myrtle with the car, Gatsby is the one who will take the fall. His love for Daisy is so great that he doesn’t mind being the sacrificial lamb, so to speak. Gatsby can’t see that he loves Daisy far more than Daisy loves him.
Most Famous Quotes from Chapter 7
Is it any surprise that this important chapter is filled with memorable quotes?
“Mr. Finn informed me that Gatsby had dismissed every servant in his house a week ago and replaced them with half a dozen others, who never went into West Egg Village to be bribed by the tradesmen, but ordered moderate supplies over the telephone. “I wanted somebody who wouldn’t gossip. Daisy comes over quite often- in the afternoons.”
Gatsby explains why he no longer hosts parties and what exactly happened to all his servants.
Tom flung open the door, blocked out its space for a moment with his thick body, and hurried into the room. As he left the room again, she got up and went over to Gatsby and pulled his face down kissing him on the mouth. “You know I love you,” she murmured.
Notice that Daisy doesn’t do this in front of Tom, but she does kiss Gatsby in front of Nick and Jordan.
“Your wife doesn’t love you,” said Gatsby. “She’s never loved you. She loves me.” Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement. “Even that’s a lie,” said Tom savagely. “She didn’t know you were alive. Why, there’re things between Daisy and me that you’ll never know, things that neither of us can ever forget.” The words seemed to bite physically into Gatsby.
At last, the words are said, but they are coming from Gatsby, not Daisy.
So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight. I became aware now of a hollow, wailing sound which issued incessantly from the garage, a sound which as we got out of the coupé and walked toward the door resolved itself into the words, “Oh, my God!” uttered over and over in a gasping moan.
Tom, Jordan, and Nick discover that Myrtle has been killed by Gatsby’s big yellow car.
Daisy and Tom were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table with a plate of cold fried chicken between them and two bottles of ale. He was talking intently across the table at her, and in his earnestness, his hand had fallen upon and covered her own. Once in a while she looked up at him and nodded in agreement. There was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy about the picture and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together.
Nick sees that Daisy and Tom have reconciled and are agreeing to something, but it’s doubtful that their agreement is to get a divorce.
- Related Topic: The Great Gatsby Annotations Chapter 9
Is Daisy Responsible for Myrtle’s Death in Chapter 7?
Yes, since Daisy was driving, she was at least partially responsible.
Myrtle had seen Tom in the big yellow car earlier, so once she was free from her imprisonment, she had hoped that by running into the road, “Tom” would stop the car, saving her like a knight on a white horse.
Perhaps if Daisy had not been so upset and distracted, or if she had not been driving so fast, she might have avoided Myrtle.
Myrtle did run out in front of the car, so she is partially to blame for her own demise. However, Daisy should have done the right thing and stopped the car.
Daisy’s affair, the death of Tom’s mistress, Nick’s thirtieth birthday, and the fight at the hotel room— this chapter seems to bring everything to a head.
Gatsby’s dream is falling apart after working towards nothing else for 5 years. Gatsby sacrifices everything, including his freedom if the police discover that it was his car that killed Myrtle Wilson. Does Daisy really love Gatsby?
Gatsby’s love for Daisy may be unquenchable, but not everyone will be thrilled by this love triangle.
Written by Kerry Wisby – GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Owner & Founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Kerry Wisby, a former teacher with a BA in English, is the founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com. With a passion for all things 1920s, including The Great Gatsby novel, her website is the ultimate source for Roaring Twenties fashion, history, and party ideas. Read more about Kerry here.