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I'd like to know if in this extract from the Chapter Eight of The Great Gatsby the...

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coutelle | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 20, 2013 at 11:50 PM via web

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I'd like to know if in this extract from the Chapter Eight of The Great Gatsby the word "irresistible" means "incapable of being resisted or withstood" or "inevitable":

He came back from France when Tom and Daisy were still on their wedding trip, and made a miserable but irresistible journey to Louisville on the last of his army pay. 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 21, 2013 at 3:09 AM (Answer #1)

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After his vigil of "watching over nothing" has ended, Gatsby returns home. Unable to sleep, Nick sees that Gatsby's front door is open as he crosses the lawn; so, he enters and talks with Gatsby, who tells Nick that he cannot leave Daisy; Nick perceives that Gatsby clutches at some last hope. 

As they sit together, Gatsby tells Nick his history, one that has separated him from Daisy "with indiscernible barbed wire between." For, he "knew that he was in Daisy's house by a colossal accident" because he was poor and with a name. Nevertheless, Gatsby "took what he could get, ravenously." And, his hunger did not end; in fact, he sought Daisy as a knight of Arthurian legend sought the grail. But Daisy vanished into her wealth.

Somehow, Jay Gatsby felt as though they were married. After he is called off to war, Jay tried to find Daisy, but he ended up in Oxford, England, and Daisy wrote to him in "nervous despair." It was not long after this that Gatsby received a letter from her that she had married. But in his romantic illusion, Gatsby believed that Daisy did not love Tom Buchanan, whom she married. So, upon his return from France, Gatsby "made a miserable but irresistible journey to Louisville on the last of his army pay." It is a trip that he cannot keep himself from making in his romantic pursuit of Daisy.

Gatsby is compelled to return to his grail, his romantic illusion. On a yellow trolley, he "stretched out his hand to catch a wisp of air" that Daisy may have drawn, but he knew that he had lost the "freshest and the best" part forever. His grail, although irresistible,compelling him, is unworthy of Gatsby.

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