This is just a little something I wrote back in college for a creative writing assignment. I doubt I'll be doing anything more with The Great Gatsby, but I figured I would post this rather than let it gather electronic dust in my hard drive. Feedback is always appreciated. Enjoy.
A Child's Perspective
The Great Gatsby, Chapter 7: "I'm perfectly willing to go to town." (Fitzgerald)
"You know what? Let's go on a picnic instead!" Tom said in a manner not unlike a man challenging another to a duel. "It will be much nicer than the city, don't you think Daisy? We can even bring the child with us. It'll be a nice day out for all of us."
The rest of us looked at him as if he had gone mad.
"In this heat?" Daisy asked. She surreptitiously glanced toward Gatsby's direction, seemingly becoming aware of some dark purpose in her covertly furious husband's proposal.
"We'll find some shade—it will be a lovely time!" He asserted. "We hardly spend enough time together as a family, don't you agree, dear?" Tom spoke quickly, not giving Daisy a chance to answer. For her part Daisy simply sat there with a slightly alarmed expression on her face, as if unsure of what to do or unable to execute a plan of escape. "Come on Nick, Jordan, Gatsby," he put particular emphasis upon that last name, "it will be a grand old time!"
While desiring nothing of this, I found myself unable to refuse the offer. It was clear that Tom would not be denied with anything short of a unified, concerted effort from the group and perhaps I felt leaving Gatsby with this man would lead to some terrible business. I agreed to go, with Jordan complying shortly afterward and Daisy quietly nodding and going off to get her daughter.
We arrived in the park, making for what little shade was offered by a large tree. The blistering heat offered no quarter, however, and all throughout the experience we suffered under the oppressive weight of a fiery will.
Tom laid down a blanket and had a servant set out the food. He insisted he, Daisy, and their child sit together, a prospect that Daisy found most disagreeable. She seemed uncomfortable not just with Tom, but with her daughter as well. It was clear she was inexperienced in dealing with the young one and sat there awkwardly, unsure what to do. The child simply sat down and began eating her lunch daintily, clearly calling upon habits imposed by relentless indoctrination from her nanny.
"She's a lovely looking babe, isn't she?" Tom said in a tone devoid of affection. "Looks just like me. I can even see some of my father and mother in her."
This seemed to disturb Daisy, who said "I don't know about that. She seems more to resemble me than…" she allowed her sentence to fade away with a stern look from Tom, one that I was sure was but a fraction of his internal ire.
If Daisy was disturbed, Gatsby was positively writhing with discomfort. It seemed as if the girl's very existence was a challenge to him, an obstacle to some mad dream.
"No, no," Tom insisted, "She definitely resembles both of us. Yes, look at us: husband, wife, and child. Living together in a beautiful house, secure in our finances, set in proper society." As he listed these advantages he began looking directly at Gatsby. "Yes, I'd say we've been quite fortunate. Lucky, even, earning our fortune honestly."
I resisted the urge to laugh. As if his fortune was ever in any doubt.
Daisy was quick to defend Gatsby, although more carefully than she might have otherwise in order to avoid driving Tom into a rage.
"Lovely day out," Jordan whispered to me sarcastically. "Tom's right you know. They really are one big happy family, the very picture of a good home."
I silently nodded my agreement, unseen by Tom, Daisy, or Gatsby. Jordan and I were not participants in these events, merely spectators. I frowned as I realized that was likely Tom's intent.
I noticed that all the while the child sat there, seemingly content to eat her food. I also noticed, however, that as the conversation went on, she did not smile or show signs of merriment. She seemed aware of the conversation, and I wondered what thoughts must by going through that poor youth's mind as her father wielded her like a giant swings a club.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 7." The Great Gatsby. The University of Aelaide, 2012. eBooks Adelaide. Web. 26 Nov, 2012