Free Study Guide-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald-Book Notes |
The tour through Gatsby’s mansion is extremely important to the story. Gatsby has purchased the house in order to be close to Daisy and has dreamed of the day she will enter it. But in the act of possession, Gatsby has become proud of his house, his car, and his parties, not for his own enjoyment, but in anticipation of Daisy’s reaction to them. He says to Nick, as they wait for Daisy to freshen up, that his house truly is grand, just as he had earlier praised his Rolls-Royce. When Daisy tours the mansion, however, Gatsby and his belongings are forced to undergo change. He must revalue everything based on Daisy’s reaction. His belongings are no longer mere material possessions or symbols of his wealth, purchased to attract Daisy; instead, they are now a part of Daisy, his dream come to reality. Gatsby’s clothing takes on particular importance in the chapter. He shows her his rows of suits and piles of shirts, not mere garments to wear, but part of that pure dream, like the green light. But Gatsby gets carried away and begins tossing the shirts one by one into a heap. Daisy, understanding the motivation behind the action, puts her head in the shirts and weeps, while assuring Gatsby they are the most beautiful clothes she has ever seen.
Gatsby’s attitude changes drastically and rapidly in the chapter. Initially, he is embarrassed by the meeting with Daisy, feeling that to have planned it was a terrible mistake. After Daisy relaxes and seems to enjoy Gatsby, he is filled with pure joy. After five years, his dream is actually sitting next to him in person and talking to him in that luscious voice. His attitude then turns to a sense of wonder, that Daisy is actually touring his house, responding to his possessions. But Gatsby’s attitude ends in bewilderment. He has mixed emotions about having achieved his goal, having visited with Daisy. When he talks about the green light on Daisy’s dock, he realizes that it is no longer the symbol of his dream, but only a green light rooted to a real person in a real place. His life has been dedicated to the quest, and now the dream is flesh and blood. He has nothing left to seek, no illusion to pursue. He is now like the other wealthy people in America who find that amassing the fortune is the excitement. When the wealth has been acquired, there is nothing left to do but drift from place to place, like Jordan, Daisy, and Tom.
At the end of the chapter, it is clear that Gatsby does not want to give up the dream, does not want to pull Daisy from the pedestal that he has created for her. Fortunately for him at this point, her voice allows Gatsby to still live in an illusion, for Daisy’s voice is thrilling and enchanting, promising much more than the person behind it can offer. Gatsby wants desperately to cling to that illusion. The rest of the book promises to be his efforts towards preserving the dream that has sustained him for so long.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on The Great Gatsby".
. 09 May 2017