The Great Gatsby: Novel Summary: Chapter 5
Chapter 5 takes place on the day following Nick's revelations about Gatsby and Daisy's previous involvement. Nick calls Daisy, and, without mentioning Gatsby, invites her over for tea under the condition that she doesn't bring Tom. Gatsby arrives first on the rainy afternoon, and waits nervously for Daisy. When she arrives, Nick invites her in, only to find that -- once again -- Gatsby has disappeared. Moments later, after a sudden knock at the door, Nick finds the usually composed Gatsby, "pale as death...standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes" (91).
The reunion between the former lovers is an awkward one, as an embarrassed Gatsby laments to Nick that he has made "a terrible, terrible mistake" (92). Nick, therefore, leaves his house, forcing Gatsby to talk with Daisy. When he returns half an hour later Nick finds Daisy in happy tears and Gatsby glowing with joy. The completely transformed Gatsby invites Daisy and Nick next door to his house, where he gives them a comprehensive tour.
Yet another turning point occurs during this visit, however, when Gatsby tries to show Daisy her house -- marked by the green light at the end of the dock -- across the bay. Due to mist from the rain, Daisy's green light cannot be seen, which has a profound effect on Gatsby. Nick suggests, "Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever....Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one" (98). The moment Gatsby has waited four years for -- and schemed so single-mindedly for -- has finally happened, leaving him without the "colossal vitality of his illusion" (101) to fuel his fantasy with Daisy. Nick, recognizing this, leaves them alone in Gatsby's mansion -- bought to win Daisy -- together.