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Inquiring Minds (FSF)Yeats' question, "Does the imagination dwell most / Upon a...

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jamie-wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted October 22, 2007 at 3:31 PM via web

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Inquiring Minds (FSF)

Yeats' question, "Does the imagination dwell most / Upon a woman lost or a woman won?"  seems particularly applicable (credit Jeffery Meyers) to the works of FSF, not just in Gatsby, but in stories like "Winter Dreams" as well. 

How do you all find this applicable in his work?  In his personal life? 

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 19, 2007 at 4:29 PM (Answer #2)

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I think it definitely applies to both his personal and professional lives. Zelda was in and out of institutions, so on many levels it was like he had both won and lost her. I would imagine when she was with in the institution, he would fantasize about the woman he had lost-to her mental illness.

Of course in this way, I would think it is probably a lot like the way Gatsby dreamed of Daisy, it probably had very little to do with reality.

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 28, 2007 at 9:47 PM (Answer #3)

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And right along with that, once he'd finely attained her again, I think he realized that she wasn't worth as much as he'd been dreaming about.  Obviously he wants to recreate a life with her, but many of the comments he makes to Nick in the final chapters suggest that he's broken her facade and completely understands that Daisy is no deeper now than she was before.  He's spent all this time dreaming about achieving his goal only to find that it hasn't lived up to expectations.  In Gatsy's case, Daisy was worth much, much more when he couldn't have her.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:53 PM (Answer #4)

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This is a perfect description of what happens in The Great Gatsby.  Gatsby creates a fiction, making himself a caricature of himself, just to win back the woman he loved.  He could have any woman he wants, but he wants Daisy.

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