The Great Gatsby: Sloan’s Perspective

“I’m delighted to see you,” exclaimed a man standing on the porch. From his wide grin and the sincere satisfaction in his eyes, this must be the Jay Gatsby who holds the regular West-Egg parties; the same Oxford graduate, relative of Kaiser Wilhem and a German spy. Fascinating.

He states, once again, he is delighted we “dropped in” and is now attentive to our possible needs. As he animatedly rings the bell as if we were to scold him for his indecency, he looks wildly around the room until his eyes roam past Tom, suddenly tensing – his decorum slowly being lost as he starts bombarding me with irrelevant chatter.

“Would you like some lemonade?”

“No, I’m quite alright.”

“How about some champagne?”

“I’m fine.” Dear God won’t this man calm down or at least offer me a scotch or whiskey – although I suppose I shouldn’t expect too much from a West-Egg man. They aren’t born with the same level of eminence passed down from generation to generation.

“Did you have a nice ride?”

“Very good roads around here.”

“I suppose the automobiles-“ Automobiles? Certainly he isn’t familiarised with the traditional, grandiose travel. Quite pathetic really.

“Yeah.” Startled at my lack of answer, he turns his head towards Tom quite vehemently and creates an irrelevant conversation. Mr Gatsby mentions they’ve met before and it’s quite obvious Buchanan doesn’t remember a single moment. The conversation remains trivial until Gatsby mentions aggressively the fact that he knows Daisy.

“I know your wife,” he continues. If it weren’t for his sharp tone, the underlying threat would have been unrecognised and Tom would have been unaffected. Whatever this man is getting at, I refuse to associate myself with him in any way shape or form.

I sit back in the chair as my wife, unlike me, decided to take up his offer on a drink and is now on her second highball and is becoming too welcoming.

“You come to supper with me. Both of you.” And have them dine with the elites? What is she thinking? I order her to come along, though she insists he and his companion join us. Of course, due to his eagerness to dine with us, he doesn’t seem to understand just how misplaced and unwanted he truly is. While he excuses himself, I pull my wife to the side.

“That man is not coming along.”

“He seems like a nice guy, maybe he’ll make a few friends there.” Is this woman daft enough to think a man like him can dine with the sorts of the high society?

“That man has nothing more to offer than lemonade and highballs. He’ll turn us into a laughing stock if he comes to the dinner tonight, we must leave now before he comes back.” Guiding her down the steps of the porch and mounting our horses, I call to Tom warning him of our supposed lateness. I turn to his friend and give him the excuse we couldn’t wait for him to follow us in his little automobile.

I hope that man soon realises what his place is in society.

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