“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity of the promises of life, as if he were related to one of...

“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity of the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away."

In The Great Gatsby, how is Gatsby more sensitive to life than anyone else in the book, despite being a criminal?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gatsby is more sensitive to life than other people in the novel because he truly believes in love and wants to believe in Daisy, although she is not really worthy of his love. Every action he takes--from having lavish parties to buying a house with a view of the green light at the end of Daisy's dock--is to win her back. Unlike Tom, who treats Daisy with carelessness and cruelty at times, Gatsby loves and treasures Daisy. The other characters don't believe in love to this degree. For example, Tom and Daisy have a marriage that is based on money and on their shared upper-crust status. Nick and Jordan are spending time together, but they do not refer ever to being in love with each other. Gatsby is not only able to love fully, but he also believes that if he impresses Daisy with his wealth, that she will love him back. He has a kind of optimism that none of the other characters share. For this reasons, he has a greater sensitivity to life and its promise than the other characters. 

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The Great Gatsby

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