Unveiling Gatsby and Daisy’s mysteries
Gatsby tells Nick his history: born rich, went to Oxford, gleaming career in military at war; he even shows off pieces of token proving his story. At lunch with Gatsby, Nick met the Jewish world gambler, Mr. Wolfshiem. On the other hand, Jordan also tells Nick Daisy’s history: how she fell in love with a young officer named Jay Gatsby, the separation, her marriage with Tom Buchanan, and how she reacted on her wedding day after receiving a letter that made her cried aloud. Then she had a baby, while Tom started cheating on her. It turns out that Gatsby had planned everything—bought the mansion, hosted parties—only to get closer to Daisy again, and now he needs Nick’s help for his plan.
The anticipated meeting
Gatsby puts big effort in asking Nick to invite Daisy to his house for tea, so that Gatsby can meet her there. He is so excited at the moment which he’d anticipated so much for five years; that the happiness of actually meeting Daisy at last doesn’t appear as he’d expected. Gatsby shows off the luxury of his mansion to Daisy; but his wealth suddenly looses its value in front of Daisy, and even the green light across the bay looses its sacredness once Daisy becomes reachable.
When hope is more real than reality
Why does Gatsby look confuse and restless when he finally meets Daisy? Out of shyness? Or is it because he is too excited? No, I believe it’s because he finds that the meeting he had imagined and planned for so long did not happen to be as he’d expected. This happens to us often, an event we’ve been anticipating for so long, that we’ve been working so hard to make it perfect, turns out to be just like that—not as special as we’ve expected. It’s because imagination is always better than realization. But does it mean that we ought not to have dreams? No, I believe we need to have dreams, as it gives us purpose to fight and work hard, it will guide us to achieve something. Although Gatsby seems to be a fool to have done absurd things to win Daisy, I think it’s not all his fault; he’d done that in the name of love, and love does make us foolish sometime.
“He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his home according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. (…) He stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real.” ~p 97.
“A faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man can store up in his ghostly heart.” ~p. 102.
They are perhaps just any ordinary passages for you, but I loved it so much, especially the second one. It seems to be distinguished from the others (particularly in chapter 4 and 5). I think it has made me officially in love with Fitzgerald’s writing!
It’s from what Jordan Baker says to Nick about why Gatsby must ask Jordan to ask Nick whether he’d mind to do him a favor: “He’s afraid. He’s waited so long, he thought you might be offended. You see, he’s regular tough underneath it all.” ~p. 83
I don’t understand what Jordan means by ‘he’s regular tough underneath it all.’ Does she means Gatsby is thoroughly a violent person (tough = violent)? I think Gatsby is only too afraid of making the smallest mistake that would break his delicate bubble of hope. Or else he’s too sensitive about how people think of him; he doesn’t want Nick to think him as too pushy. Both my ideas doesn’t correlate with ‘tough’, so….what does that mean, can anyone help me?