Defined by a book of current literary terms, a climax is “the arrangementof a series of ideas or expressions in ascending order of importance oremphasis; the last term of the arrangement; a culmination.” Written by F.Scott Fitzgerald during the roaring 20’s, The Great Gatsby provides a look intothe upper class circle of the East and West Villages of New York City. Known asEast and West Egg in the novel, Fitzgerald, through the eyes of bachelor,portrays a cynical view of the high social society and the morality which itlacks.
This scarcity of ethics ultimately causes the downfall of their hollowworld in a clatter of broken hearts and mislead minds. The climax of The GreatGatsby takes place in a New York Hotel suite when, after many hints toward thereason for Gatsby’s company, the true nature of his presence is revealed to TomBuchanan. Ever since Jay Gatsby returned from World War I, which swept him awayfrom his boyhood love Daisy, he has made every indirect effort to make contactand rekindle her love for him. Even with the knowledge that she is married andleads a separate life from his, Gatsby, without regrets, lives his life for her.
When, at long last, he has the chance to interact with Daisy, he capitalizes onit immediately. With the assistance of Jordan Baker and his neighbor NickCarraway (Daisy’s second cousin), Gatsby arranges a meeting with Daisy. At thismeeting the two hearts are reunited and again would be one, if not for the plateglass barrier of Daisy’s marriage to Tom Buchanan which separates them.Originally held apart by a young boys’ ineptitude to provide for a wealthy girl,Daisy is now held back by a seemingly insincere knot of matrimony. This keepsthe all important bonds of love to be formed between the two former lovers. Tom,a wealthy man with family history, is enlightened to the existence of thisperennial relationship in a slow weave of events which explode into the climaxof the novel in a New York Hotel Room during a visit by Jay Gatsby. The sparkthat ignites the climax tinder box is a question posed by Tom to Gatsby.
“‘What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house anyhow?’ They wereout in the open at last and Gatsby was content.” The openness further showsitself as the scene quickly progresses into an blitzkrieg of words, the opposingforces Tom and Gatsby. “I’ve got something to tell you, old sport,__”began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention.
“Please don’t!” sheinterrupted helplessly. “Please let’s all go home Why don’t we all gohome.?”… “She never loved you, do you hear?” he cried.
“She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. Itwas a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!”At this point Jordan and I tried to go but Tom and Gatsby insisted withcompetitive firmness that we remain__ as though neither of them had anything toconceal and it would be a privilege to partake vicariously of their emotions.(137-8) Insults and accusations are slung as the too assault each other in ahumanely cruel way until, when at the height of the climax, Daisy breaks apart.The two suitors are torn from their opposing member and focus on the revealedpain felt by the object of both their affections. “Please don’t.” Hervoice was cold but the rancor was gone from it. She looked at Gatsby.”There, Jay,” she said__but her hand as she tried to light a cigarettewas trembling.
Suddenly she threw the cigarette and the burning match on thecarpet. “Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby. “I love younow__ isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sobhelplessly. ” I did love him once__but I loved you too Gatsby’s eyes openedand closed. “You loved me too he repeated?”.
.. “She’s not leavingme!” Tom’s world suddenly leaned down over Gatsby.
“Certainly not fora common swindler who’d have to steal the ring he put on herfinger.”(139-40) A knock out punch, the argument soon sided itself and Tomemerged the victor from a slowly dissipating cloud of dust, Daisy his spoils.The argument drones on, a monotone buzz of accusations, but the outcome hadalready been decided and the words from that point on would be swallowed byGatsby in a big gulp of false pride. This scene in which Gatsby and Tom face offis the climax of the novel because all the events of the book lead up to thatone point with a constant drone of anticipation, and the events following it,drift harmlessly towards the conclusion. From the beginning of the novel andGatsby’s wonderfully extravagant parties, to the initial meeting of Daisy andGatsby and the blossoming friendship between Jay and Nick, the book surmounts tothat single defining moment in the hotel room in which the main characters canbe seen in a shrewdly perforating light.
The events which follow the fight inthe hotel are also interesting, but unimportant in the end. Gatsby never losthope that Daisy would come to him, but as soon as this hope and care arrivedback to his heart, unanswered, the events that followed were no longer ofimportance. Once Daisy’s love and trust in Gatsby died, so did his soul, hisbody was only an earthly reminder of his existence until Wilson took that also.From the moment when Daisy admitted her love to Tom was true, and that Daisy’sheart was merely a shared possession of his and Tom’s, Gatsby lost the true hopeand was left with the care of a desperate man which he so vividly personified.Book Reports