“Perhaps it’s because she doesn’t drink. It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care.”
Catching up with Wallace’s read-a-long of The Great Gatsby:
This middle section is quite strange. There’s a fair piece of character exposition on Gatsby; all the parties, Daisy’s history with him, his warming to Nick.
I’m not sure what function Jordan Baker is serving in all of this; she seems to be a vaguely interesting confidante-type information conveyor. FSF makes her interesting in that she lies and drives terribly, but mostly she seems to be there to give us Daisy’s history with Gatsby.
As for the dreadful tea party: ohmygoodnesstheawkwardness. Eeek. No wonder poor old Nick wanted to just leave them to it and go for a wander in the rain. But why is Nick so overawed that he permits himself to be pushed around like this by Gatsby? Gatsby is clearly a bit clueless and puppy-in-love-ish, but even Nick could have seen that Daisy would not be comfortable having Gatsby restored to her so suddenly, and what good could come of it?
Not so sure.