Describe the meeting between Gatsby and Daisy. Why was he so nervous?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Gatsby wants to make everything "perfect" for his meeting with Daisy. He arranges for flowers, tea service, and even for the lawn to be mowed exactly right.  He is convinced that he will meet his ideal and thus he strives for perfection.  When Daisy does not arrive exactly at four o'clock, the agreed time, Gatsby is dejected.  Upon her arrival, he sends Nick outside to greet her while he searches for the perfect pose to be struck upon her first sight of him. In the process, Gatsby breaks a wall mounting, trying to get things just perfect.

Gatsby is nervous because he is so close to his dream.  His entire reason of being was to win Daisy.  As the "Platonic conception of self," Gatsby has given Daisy to be the meaning of his life.  His pursuit and desire to win her favor is the sum total of his being.  In seeing her for the first time as a man of wealth, he is nervous with his dream being so close.  It was one set of circumstances when he encountered Daisy and he was poor.  Yet, now he is rich and he feels that he can get her for himself.  In this light, he is nervous when he meets her.


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