"I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before," he said, nodding determinedly. "She'll see." (Fitzgerald 110).  How does the quote above show an elusive tone? What does this...

"I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before," he said, nodding determinedly. "She'll see." (Fitzgerald 110). 

How does the quote above show an elusive tone? What does this demonstrate?

 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Gatsby is not being elusive with what he is saying to Nick. He says exactly what he means. He wants to relive the past. He wants to pick up exactly where he and Daisy left off five years ago. After Gatsby replies that "of course you can" relive the past, Nick adds: 

He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand. 

So, Gatsby is not elusive with his intentions. He fully intends to relive the past and lets Nick know it. But there is an elusive tone to his project of reliving the past because he has so far been unable to do it. It has been "just out of reach of his hand."

In other words, reliving the past is elusive and/or impossible in this case. Gatsby will have to undo things that have occurred in that five year interim. For example, he will have to break up Tom's and Daisy's marriage. These things he will have to fix are going to be elusive. When he says "She'll see," he will also have to convince Daisy that this is even possible. This, too, will be elusive.

Elusive can mean hard to express, hard to find, hard to catch. All of these meanings suggest something just beyond one's grasp. Gatsby's attempt to relive the past and his efforts to convince Daisy that this is possible are elusive because he is chasing something that already existed. He is chasing a ghost of their pasts. 

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