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What is an important quote in chapter 4?  Why is it important to this chapter?

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esalak | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 7, 2010 at 6:32 AM via web

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What is an important quote in chapter 4?  Why is it important to this chapter?

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 7, 2010 at 6:41 AM (Answer #1)

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In chapter four of The Great Gatsby Jordan tells Nick that:

Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.

Nick then writes:

Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night.  He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.

Nick discovers that Gatsby wasn't just gazing up at the stars earlier in the novel when Nick sees him outside at night.  He was staring at Daisy's home.  Now, says Nick, to paraphrase, Gatsby is worth his attention, Gatsby is interesting.  This tells us about Gatsby, of course, and contributes to the love story that makes the book so beautiful.  But it also tells us about Nick.  Nick is a romantic himself.  Ultimately, this kind of action (buying the mansion so Daisy would be right across the bay) is what Nick admires most about Gatsby, and is what makes the story worth telling.  Without it, there is no novel.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 7, 2010 at 6:44 AM (Answer #2)

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The quote I would use is this:

I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress—and as drunk as a monkey. she had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other.

The reason for this is that it shows what happened between Daisy and Gatsby in a way that is important to the themes of the novel.

In this book, Gatsby's real motivator seems to be Daisy and the fact that she did not marry him.  In this scene, we see that the major reason Daisy did not marry him is because he did not have money.  She seems to love him more but will not marry him (this is why she gets drunk even though she does not usually drink).

So this quote shows us how mercenary Daisy is.  And it shows us how futile it is for Gatsby to be trying to get her back.

 

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted February 7, 2010 at 7:13 AM (Answer #3)

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My favorite line in this chapter is the one about the city (New York City), described by Nick, as viewed from the Queensboro Bridge, which is,

...always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world" (73).

This description makes New York a dual symbol, first of the New World, which had all that "mystery and beauty" for those who came here, and second for the way Gatsby sees Daisy, who has the same "mystery and beauty."  Notice also that New York is always being seen "for the first time," as immigrants see the New World and as Gatsby sees Daisy. 

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