In The Great Gatsby, what is Gatsby's reply when Nick says you can't repeat the past, and why is that his reply?

To Nick's statement that "you can't repeat the past" Gatsby replies incredulously, "Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!" Gatsby is confident that he will be able to repeat the past of when he and Daisy first met now that he has the money to attract her attention. His view is very simplistic and naive. 

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In the late night hours following what will be Gatsby's final party, he is disappointed that Daisy was not impressed by the extravagant entertainment he provided. Nick tries to both comfort Gatsby and deliver a reality check by telling him that he shouldn't expect too much of Daisy and that he "can't repeat the past." Gatsby is incredulous when he replies "Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!"

Gatsby is suffering from the delusion that he can somehow erase Daisy's marriage to Tom Buchanan , despite the fact that they have a daughter together. Gatsby's development is arrested; he fell in love with Daisy before he went to war, and he cannot accept the fact that she moved on with her life in his absence. He needed time to acquire the fortune that would make her accept him as her social equal, and the five years that have passed have proved fatal to his dream of marrying her. At this point in the novel, he has not realized that they have no future beyond their affair. In fact, to his...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 722 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 19, 2019
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