Please answer the following question based on Chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby.At the end of this chapter, Nick leaves Gatsby standing, staring at Daisy and Tom's house.  Nick explains that Gatsby...

Please answer the following question based on Chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby.

At the end of this chapter, Nick leaves Gatsby standing, staring at Daisy and Tom's house.  Nick explains that Gatsby wanted to wait alone, "as though my presence marred the sacredness of his vigil.  So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight--watching over nothing."  Comment on this presentation of Gatsby.

Asked on by ehskagus

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You have identified an excellent part of this chapter to comment on. Note how Nick's comments regarding Gatsby's actions in staying by Daisy's house and watching over her, in case she needs him, are described in explicitly religious terms by the use of the words "vigil" and "sacredness." Yet again, Gatbsy is presented as a fervently devoted knight errant, determined to do whatever it takes to gain his "holy grail" and marry Daisy. The dream of gaining Daisy is shown through this diction to have assumed a monumental importance in his life. He is willing to sacrifice everything to gain it and to go through any hardship to achieve it. Yet, inspite of this impressive dedication, Nick sees through his actions and recognises that Gatsby is actually "watching over nothing." Although Gatbsy still has such high hopes, Nick now sees that his dreams are destined for destruction and have no chance of actually becoming real. Thus Gatsby is presented with all of his capacity of hope in tact, even when it is clear to us and to Nick that his hope is profoundly misplaced.

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