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The Buchanans' true intentions.

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Angie Did the Bucharans really want Gatsby to be killed?


message 2: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Interesting question. I don't believe Daisy wanted him killed, but Tom Buchanan probably saw it as a means to an end. It suited his purpose to have Wilson believe that Gatsby was driving the car when Myrtle was run over.


Jason Lilly Tom hated Gatsby. But I personally believe that Tom was convinced that Gatsby was driving. Even if Gatsby had told the truth, Tom certainly would not have believed him. What bothers me, though, and what bothers Nick is that Daisy and Tom go on about their lives. "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. . . ."

Well said, Nick.


Jan C Well said, Jason.

Daisy may not have wanted him killed but she didn't not want it bad enough to make any kind of fuss. They were indeed "careless".


message 5: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Well, true. I don't believe Daisy wanted Gatsby killed, but yes, I'm sure it didn't bother her overmuch. She was used to leaving chaos behind her and allowing others to clean up her mess.


message 6: by Angie (last edited Jan 06, 2012 07:51PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie There is something I still cannot understand, did Daisy know about Tom's affair with Myrtle?

What if Daisy had been having an eye blind to Tom's infidelity?, do you think she had really run over Myrtle by accident?, did she only see in Gatsby a naive supporter for putting Tom in his place?

I am almost sure that the Buchanans were always thinking in what the high spheres would say if they divorced, so they were still married.

Just remember that gossips and rumours were always present during the novel. And I agree that Daisy couldn't have the intention of killing Gatsby, but just think about what Nick mentioned about them in the last part of the novel: careless people who can smash everything, returning to their shallow world which keeps them together and letting the others to solve the disaster they had made.


Geoffrey It`s apparent to me that Daisy was very much aware. She`s a classic denier-she did not wish to think of herself as an intentional killer, but her psyche is so twisted that she is momentarily distracted by another passing car and just so happens to kill her rival.


message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 11, 2012 09:39PM) (new)

It wasn't as if Daisy meant to kill Myrtle. She knew of an affair, but not who Tom was having the affair with. When Tom went to Myrtle's earlier in the book, he said the yellow car belonged to him. Then, during the time before the accident, Wilson was going to take Myrtle away(Because he knew she was having an affair, althought he didn't know who it was with either.), and locked Myrtle in her room. Myrtle got out and ran in front of the moving car, believing it was Tom. She wanted Tom to take her away or something, I guess. The death itself was an accident, but the Buchanan's way of handling it was, well, careless and rather selfish.


Angie I think Tom followed the believing of the end justifies the means.

Daisy was a silly girl who was blinded by money and glamour as well as social status. I don't have any doubt that she was scared of the car accident and let her husband solve everything for her by his own way.

Even it became a moment where I thought that Daisy was only getting the chance of being wooed by Gatsby just to make Tom quit from his affair.


David Daisy had a 'charming' habit of speaking softly so people would lean in closer to her. The first time we see Tom, he literally grabs Nick and turns him around. They are manipulative people, each in their own way. Daisy manipulates Gatsby to ...teach her husband a lesson, exact revenge, have some fun. Whatever her motivation, it is in stark contrast to Gatsby's.

I don't think she killed Myrtle on purpose (nor do I think she knew with whom exactly her husband was having an affair). I do think she does retreat into the relative safety of her marriage as a way to avoid consequences for Myrtle's death.


Ivana Angie wrote: "Did the Bucharans really want Gatsby to be killed?"

They are a kind of people without a moral sense, so it's possible. It may be that Daisy ran that poor woman on purpuse, knowing that Gatsby will take the blame, and get killed (or jailed), because she decided she wants Tom after all...and in this way she kills two flies at once, Gatsby and the mistress.


Robyn Smith Jason wrote: "Tom hated Gatsby. But I personally believe that Tom was convinced that Gatsby was driving. Even if Gatsby had told the truth, Tom certainly would not have believed him. What bothers me, though, and..."
Yes, that's one of the most telling sequences in the book.


message 13: by Jonnie (last edited May 06, 2012 07:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jonnie Comet Daisy isn't smart enough to be accused of any machination or motivation beyond what makes her comfortable-- intellectually or physically-- at the moment. She is, even to Gatsby, only the physical representation of an ideal, the beautiful blond Nordic princess-- call her Guenevere-- in the ivory tower whom a poor farmboy like Jimmy Gatz can aspire to. She knew nothing of Myrtle nor much more than that Tom was having an affair-- and she knew this only because she had always known Tom was patently unfaithful (witness the story of their honeymoon). She married him because she was told to; and she had already concluded that her dashing young lieutenant was not coming home from England (see the scene in which Jordan tells of the letter disintegrating in the bath).

Like all bullies, Tom lives in denial. We see this early on in Nick's first visit when Tom makes the point about this book '"The Rise of the Coloured Races" by this man Goddard'. He, like Daisy and Gatsby (and even Jordan), lives in a fantasyland of his own making. It is when unavoidable realities rear up in front of such people that the ugliness arises. When Tom is told he is a brute (which he is), he strikes out physically at his own wife. When Jordan is called a cheat (which she is), she disappears from Nick's life. When Daisy is reminded that she could have waited 3 months and got a sweet-hearted romantic hero who loved her with a pure, innocent adulation (which is what she always wanted, in spite of her father's expecations-- which actually shows she once had some backbone), she becomes tacit and moody and then lashes out by daring to defy her husband in front of others, which is only cowardly and manipulative, the way weaklings play the game.

So when Myrtle runs out into the path of what she believes is Tom's new car (note that Tom, living in fantasy, misleads her into believing that it is), all loose ends are tied-off. The dissimilar Daisy & Tom have nothing left but to patch up their lives and marriage and at least pretend to get along with each other. Myrtle's death is an awkward convenience; but there is no way either Tom or Daisy had the mental or emotional strength to want, let alone commit, a murder. If either of them had, one of them might have killed the other by now. They are cowards and weaklings, to be pitied-- as Nick does, at least as much as his own awkward and angry awakening allows him to.


message 14: by Angie (last edited May 07, 2012 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie Jonnie, you took an important point of the novel: denial.

Everyone, except Nick, were in their own world being very selfish and not caring for the others, just caring for what the others might say about them. A reason of why Daisy and Tom didn't divorce.

When something is wrong in the real life, they hide in their own happy world, lying to themselves that everything is right or that it's just only a dream.

This kind of thinking can represent how were the Roaring Twenties before the Crash of 1929. Everybody who had money, was having more money and living in a more glamorous environment, spending it in a very irresponsible way without thinking that something economically terrible and inevitable was going to happen.


message 15: by Geoffrey (last edited May 21, 2012 07:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Geoffrey Jo
Yes, TB was a low, despicable bastard, and that is putting it mildly. Despite all his pedigree and "upbringing", he is a slimeball par excellence. Yes, I too, was very angry and disgusted as well by Carraway coming around to shaking TB`s hand after the heartfelt confession. Nick`s character is suspect as well. He forgives those who take him into their confidence.


message 16: by Angie (last edited May 22, 2012 03:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie I also agree that it was not fair from Tom to reclaim Daisy of being a good wife while he had been the first in cheating.

Myrtle's accident was a coincidence in the end, but if there hadn't been an accident, Tom would have had to chose to leave either Myrtle or Daisy.

Gatsby knew even before the accident that Daisy would rather prefer living with Tom despite his bad behaviour towards her.

I can't stand Daisy, because she can't make decisions on her own, she lets the others decide for her as well as she always evades reality, not wanting to take the bull by the horns and accept that her life is not so wonderful and that her husband is an idiot.


Geoffrey I`m not convinced the accident was a coincidence. At the point immediately preceding the hit and run, Daisy averts her eyes at the road. She`s such a ditzy cluck I suspect that it was her subconscious desire to hit the woman that threatened her marriage and claim the other car distracted her.

Tom would not have left Daisy. Myrtle was not of his social class and he would never have made that relationship permanent. If Daisy gave him the ultimatum, well of course he would have acceded to her demands and then welched on them.


Michael Canoeist Jason wrote: "Well said, Nick..."

Yes. But at the same time, Nick dated a known golf cheat and hung around with a man he knew to be a thief, bootlegger, and fraud.

Nick was as corrupt and amoral as the rest of them. His character is somewhat spared only by his return to his midwestern home where there is at least a little hope that he might have learned something from his experience in New York. And by his being a stand-in for the author and exempted from true scrutiny.


Michael Canoeist Angie wrote: "Everyone, except Nick, were in their own world being very selfish and not caring for the others, just caring for what the others might say..."

But those were all Nick's friends. He chose their company. He wanted more of it, in fact.


Michael I had the impression that Tom did believe Gatsby was driving- he was told this by Daisy- and this is why when Nick meets him later, Nick feels sad and sympathetic for the philandering, brutal, cuckold, for his wife is lying to him and he chooses to believe her. Not a healthy new state of marriage.


message 21: by Luke (new) - rated it 5 stars

Luke Geoffrey wrote: "Jo
Yes, TB was a low, despicable bastard, and that is putting it mildly. Despite all his pedigree and "upbringing", he is a slimeball par excellence. Yes, I too, was very angry and disgusted as wel..."


nick DIDNT forgive him. in fact he specifically says that "i couldnt forgive him or like him, but i saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified". he shakes tom's hand, because even if he refused to, his reasons would still be lost on tom. the shaking of toms hand, is more a sign that nick is washing his hands of them forever, and in no way symbolic of forgiveness.


message 22: by Angie (last edited May 14, 2013 03:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie I have been thinking something, and I can agree that Myrtle's accident was just a coincidence.

Even if Daisy knew who was Tom's lover, she wouldn't have even tried to kill her because of being afraid of her husband's behaviour.

In the end, Daisy was just a shallow and ditzy girl who always wanted someone with power to decide for her in crucial situations.

Tom was as spoiled as Daisy only that he had the illusion of control. In the end he wasn't a real man as he wanted to show (imagine how he would have dealt with Myrtle's husband if he had known the truth, he would be the coward he was).

Both of them denied that there was something wrong with their "paradise", they preferred to live in denial and didn't care if innocent people were killed due to their mistakes.

I think that if they were still alive when the 1929 Crisis came, they would have finally cracked up and express their frustrations to the other (maybe try to kill each other).


Geoffrey Luke
When it comes to himself, I would be sceptical of anything Nick says. After all, he`s the guy who claimed that he followed his Dad`s advice and never judged people initially. His immediate antipathy to Myrtle is evidence of that conceit, as well as his restrained reaction to Jay`s telling him about the gallavanting in Europe as a rich playboy.


Nick is not as objective as he claims. He is just very good at concealing his true feelings.


message 24: by Kyra (last edited May 15, 2013 06:11AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kyra I agree to what Jason said. Daisy didn't but Tom probably would... since the situation gave him enough reason. I hate Daisy... She's the reason for Jay's success, but somehow, she's also the reason to his early fall. I believed that Daisy did loved Jay, so she wouldn't want him dead...


Geoffrey Yes, Jason, the best line in the book is how Daisy and Tom smashed up people´s lives. That is the one sentence that sums it all up.


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