The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald has many parties in it that are symbolic of the characters desire to enjoy themselves and each other. Every party has a different unexpected outcome that startles the characters individually. Myrtle’s party in New York is supposed to be in honor of her and Tom, but turns into a binge drinking party. Myrtle goes too far with her drinking and winds up irritating Tom to the extent where he is compelled to break her nose. Gatsby’s ball is much different. There are many guests at this party. Nick is one of the guest who tries to find the host the whole time. He ends up talking to an unknown man and then comes to realize that it is indeed the man for whom he has been looking. At Daisy’s party, Gatsby is almost sure that she is falling for him, which causes him to relive the past. When Gatsby finally asks Daisy a direct question about whom she loves, she gives him a direct answer; the answer turns out to be the opposite answer for which he was looking. He is shocked at what her initial response is but even more heartbroken about her decision. All the parties end up taking a completely different path than was originally expected.
Myrtle’s party takes place in her New York apartment in honor of her relations with Tom. She arrives at her apartment with Tom and Nick and then soon calls up her sister Catherine who speaks about her travels and living arrangements with her new girlfriend. This introduces the possibility that Catherine might be a lesbian. She also invites her good friends, the McKees to join the party, who are desperately trying to get accepted by the upper class but are in actuality shallow, dull people. Her initial reasoning for inviting everyone over was to show off her affair with Tom; she does not care that he is cheating on his wife to be with her. As the party progresses, Myrtle continues to drink. The more drunk she becomes, the more outspoken she becomes as well. She begins to order people around and put down certain people. The reader begins to see that Myrtle feels as if she is better than everyone else. Tom is angered by this and reminds Myrtle that she is just his mistress, while Daisy is in fact is wife. Even though this would have angered Myrtle while she was sober, her drunken state caused her to throw a fit. She begins to shout Daisy’s name “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy! Shouted Mrs. Wilson. I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai—”(Page 41). Tom tells her that she has no right to mention his wife’s name. She completely disregards Tom’s order and “Making a short deft movement Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand” (Page 41). Her nose was broken because of her obnoxiousness. It is hard to say why Myrtle would even consider being with Tom after this. Not only was Tom rich, but he was also cheating on his rich wife for Myrtle, which made her feel superior to the others so she wanted to show him off. However, instead of showing the guests what a great man she had found, the guests ended up seeing a violent man who was sticking up for his wife. Myrtle’s expectations of the outcome of the party were completely wrong.
Gatsby’s party, on the other hand, is with a large amount of people and five course meals of which everyone is grateful. As the reader examines all three events, the reader can see that Tom, Myrtle and Gatsby’s parties have similarities as well as differences. This forces the reader to explore how the men are actually very similar to each other. Gatsby is known for the huge parties that he constantly throws. The parties included a catering service and an orchestra. Guests would come from far away just to enjoy these renowned parties. One weekend, Nick receives a note from Gatsby inviting him to one of his parties. This is a particularly special event because most people are not invited to Gatsby’s parties but just show up because they know that he will be having one. As the reader finds out later in the novel, Gatsby’s main intention for throwing the parties was in the hopes that Daisy would show up at one of them and he would once again be reunited with her. While at the party, Nick makes an attempt to find the host. However Nick’s luck only brings him to encounter Jordan Baker and the two of them learn some intriguing things about their host. They learn that Gatsby is very generous and takes care of the people at his party.
Through the partying, all the people were able to feel as if they were bringing meaning into their otherwise meaningless lives. Gatsby’s party guests consisted of “ the Chester Beckers, the Leeches, Doctor Webster Civet, the Hornbeams, the Ismays, and the Chrysties.” (Page 65, 66) Later on, Nick finds himself talking to a handsome man and comes soon to realize that it is Gatsby himself. Nick is extremely joyful that he finally gets to meet the man that has invited him to this magnificent ball. After talking with him for a while, Nick is satisfied and Gatsby moves on. Nick enjoys himself for the rest of the party and soon departures back to his house. This was the first party that Nick attended at Gatsby’s house but he could immediately tell that Gatsby was a perfect gentleman.
At Daisy’s party, Gatsby is almost sure that Daisy’s love for Tom will be transferred over to Gatsby himself. Gatsby, thinking that it is only going to be him and Daisy at the party, is shocked to see his friend Nick, Daisy’s husband Tom, and Jordan Baker. The day turns out to be intolerably hot, making all the guests at the luncheon even more uncomfortable then expected. Tom receives a phone call from his mistress and leaves the room to have a word with her. “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.”(Gatsby, Pg 122, 123) Here, Daisy leads Gatsby into believing that she is indeed in love with him and his dream is finally reality. Both spouses are doing equally wrong things so the relationship is not a truthful one. As Tom witnesses a soft glance between Daisy and Gatsby, he can no longer deny that both of them are having an affair. Daisy then suggests that they all go into town, while Tom disregards what she says and says that they are all going to go in the city. As they begin to head into Town, Tom, Jordan, and Nick all take Gatsby’s car while Gatsby and Daisy take Tom’s. Tom apparently has been suspicious of Gatsby and his wife all along.
When they get into the city, Tom and Gatsby exchange rude remarks and somehow get Daisy in the middle of it. Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy does not love him and her love will from now on be with him instead. Daisy, however, cannot honestly admit she never loved Tom. She has spent her whole life with Tom; therefore her love is with him and will stay with him. When Gatsby hears this, he is not only confused, but his dream is shattered as well. As they descend, Tom orders Gatsby and Daisy to head home but in Gatsby’s own car this time, while he, Jordan, and Nick take his own. The party seemed to take a noticeable turn from the beginning to the end. The party began with Daisy inviting Gatsby over herself and flirting with him as they eat to Daisy declaring that her love will be with Tom and only Tom. The reader realizes that Gatsby’s whole objective has just been crushed in front of him because of Daisy’s true love. Again, this party has a significantly different outcome as well as all the others. It begins with everyone having a good time to at least one of the characters having the worst time.
Different people host the parties in The Great Gatsby, but all the parties contain some similar participants. Gatsby is the only one who has an actual big party with large amounts of food and pleasing music. All the other parties are more petite and contain a smaller number of people. Alcohol seems to play an important role in all of theses parties; everyone ends up drinking in all three events. Myrtle’s party is the most out of control with everyone being under the influence and acting like someone they are not. Daisy’s party is also a little crazy because it is all one big cheating affair and Gatsby getting his life ruined by Daisy’s confession of her true love for Tom. Gatsby’s party, even though the biggest one, is indeed the most organized and in control because the preparations were made beforehand. While in some ways extremely similar, the three parties presented in The Great Gatsby differ in many ways as well.