Does Gatsby enjoy his own parties in The Great Gatsby?

There is textual evidence in The Great Gatsby that suggests that Gatsby only has brief moments of enjoyment at his own parties. The parties are an attempt to gain social acceptance and to attract Daisy Buchanan.

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It is fair to say that Gatsby does not enjoy the parties he hosts in the same way that many of his guests do. It is also fair to say that for Gatsby, the parties are a means to an end.

The party that Gatsby hosts in chapter 3 is an over-the-top demonstration of his wealth. There are extravagant amounts of catered food, a full bar (Prohibition notwithstanding), an orchestra and dance floor, a beach, power boats, and transportation to and from the city and train station. It is well-attended, and yet Gatsby does not mingle with his guests until he spots Jordan Baker and Nick and approaches them because they will give him what he is looking for: an opportunity to reconnect with Daisy.

Toward the end of chapter 4, Jordan tells Nick "I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night." This observation lends support to the idea that Gatsby was only hosting parties in the hope that Daisy would appear.

Early in the party that Gatsby hosts in chapter 6, he seems to be enjoying himself because he is showing off in the hope of impressing Daisy. He points out a famous movie actress, and he and Daisy dance the foxtrot. However, he soon realizes that the boorish behavior of many of his guests has been offensive to Daisy, and after she leaves, he is disconsolate.

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