The Great Gatsby Chapter 2. Summary. Tom introduces Nick to his mistress, Myrtle Wilson Myrtle accompanies Tom and Nick into the city, where she buys cosmetics, magazines and a dog.
The apartment in new York is kept especially for Tom and Myrtle’s adulterous relationship. Nick gradually gets drunk. Catherine mentions the speculation surrounding Gatsby, specifically that he is a relation of Kaiser Wilhelm, the ruler of Germany during the First World War.
This chapter is a sketch of a drinking party, and F. Scott Fitzgerald shows the increasing drunkenness of the company with great skill through understatement. He avoids the large and clumsy gestures suggested by intoxication, but includes a moment where Nick, his reserve broken down under the influence of alcohol. This scene is set against the backdrop of Prohibition in the United States.
“Everything has a dim hazy cast over it”
he were a ghost”
perfume, a puppy
“middle thirties, and faintly stout, but carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can.”
The author uses a simple conversation between Myrtle and Tom to show the intelligence level of Myrtle. When Tom buys the dog for Myrtle and she asks if it is a boy or a girl she is showing everyone that she is not very intelligent. She is simply a "toy" for Tom. He is not involved with her because of her mind. He is strictly using her for his own needs and desires. It should be a very simple matter to determine the sex of a puppy, but Myrtle doesn't have the presence of mind to simply look at the puppy and find out the sex for her self. This goes to the characterisation of a woman who is not too bright.
The description of the ‘valley of the ashes’ bring to mind the bleak spiritual landscape of the T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Wasteland’, published in 1922, the year ‘The Great Gatsby’ is set. ‘The Wasteland’ responds to the horrific violence of the First World War but also to the spread of materialistic, consumer values in modern society.
Doctor Eckleburg’s advertising board is a realistic detail from the consumer culture of the 1920s. A visual advertisement like this had the added value of being understandable to newly arrived immigrants who had little or no grasp of English.
The fourth and final setting of the novel, New York City, is in every way the opposite of the valley of ashes—it is loud, tasteless, and glittering. To Nick, New York is all together fascinating and repulsive, thrillingly fast-paced and dazzling to look at but lacking any morals. While Tom is forced to keep his affair with Myrtle a relative secret in the valley of the ashes, in New York he can appear with her in public, even among his acquaintances, without causing a scandal. Even Nick, despite being Daisy’s cousin, seems not to mind that Tom parades his infidelity in public.
“Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his hand.”
"within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life."
midnight when Tom and Myrtle argue loudly over
her talking about Daisy.
Daisy!...I'll say it whenever I want to," Tom answers
by striking her face and breaking her nose.
violence, and he leaves in an alcoholic stupor, finally
catching the 4:00 a.m. train back to West Egg.
Myrtle's dog, metaphorically, not only suggests Myrtle, it also suggests all who are displaced in this dark, jazz-age environment, which Nick describes as the "valley of ashes." During her cocktail party, Myrtle's dog is stranded on top of the dining room table: "The little dog was sitting on the table looking with blind eyes through the smoke, and from time to time groaning faintly". Similar to T. J. Eckleburg, whose dim eyes with their "eternal blindness"look over the "grotesque garden" of ashes, Myrtle's dog tries to peer, through Myrtle's hell.
“I married him because I thought he was a gentleman...I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe.”