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In Chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby, what does Gatsby want from Daisy?

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chippppp | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 18, 2009 at 6:11 AM via web

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In Chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby, what does Gatsby want from Daisy?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 18, 2009 at 6:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Gatsby's "colossal" dream, as Nick referred to it, is to literally repeat the past. Gatsby lives with the illusion that through the force of his will, he can negate the previous five years and that he and Daisy can go back and begin their relationship again. Acting within his illusion, he wants Daisy to tell Tom she not only does not love him now, she never loved him at all. This passage from Chapter 6 explains Gatsby's thinking:

After she had obliterated three years with that sentence [her marriage to Tom] they could decide upon the more practical measure to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house--just as if it were five years ago.

When Nick tries to reason with Gatsby, telling him "You can't repeat the past," Gatsby is amazed and incredulous: "Why of course you can!"

 

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andrewnightingale | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted February 4, 2015 at 6:22 PM (Answer #2)

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Jay Gatsby expects Daisy to renounce her marriage, discard the life that she has been sharing with Tom Buchanan, disclaim that she has ever loved Tom and forget about his (Jay's) five year absence and live with him as if all of this had never happened. He expects her to leave with him and continue their relationship, marry him as if he had never been gone. This is the measure of his dream.

Jay had been meticulously formatting his life to realize his dream - of being with Daisy. He had deliberately set out to raise a fortune, through fair means and foul, so that he could please Daisy and be the man that he thought she would be happy with. He had obviously realized that Daisy would only be reachable if he could measure up to Tom - be as wealthy, and thus he had completely immersed himself in achieving that ideal. Once he had reached that step, he believed that Daisy would forfeit everything to be with him, that she, just as much as he, would be prepared to 'repeat the past.'

Unfortunately, this was not to be. The dream was too immense. Jay's delusional fantasy was unreachable, for Daisy did not have the same ideal. She was shallow and materialistic, careless, and would not sacrifice anything. Jay was asking too much. And she told him just that.

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