What aspects of Gatsby are raised in this passage from chapter 7 and what makes him attractive to Daisy?  "Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What this passage reveals about Daisy and Gatsby's relationship is the reason that Gatsby became obsessed with Daisy in the first place. Like many of the disenfranchised poor of the 1920's, Gatsby was bitterly resentful of his economic circumstance. He saw none of the vapid, materialistic, and futile existential quandaries that are so commonly associated with the American upper-crust. To Gatsby, there were two worlds: one that stayed exciting and beautiful and mysterious, always glamorous and youthful no matter how many years passed, and another where things were dirty, hot, and miserable, with all the excitement sucked out of everything. Gatsby believed that the only difference in these two worlds was money.

However, social norms dictated that simply having money wasn't enough. The money had to come from the right place. Gatsby was new and exciting to Daisy, but his status as new money made their relationship impossible. No matter how much money Gatsby made doing something like bootlegging, he could never truly be the glamorous, upper-crust socialite that he had dreamed of becoming because he had not been accepted into the culture of wealth as he perceived it. This is what Daisy ultimately represented to him. In Gatsby's mind, if he could just find a way to make Daisy his, he would finally arrive as the type of wealthy person that he had always dreamed of being.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 6, 2020
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial