The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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What does Nick say is gorgeous about Gatsby in The Great Gatsby?

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The famous quote about Gatsby being "gorgeous" is as follows:

there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.

Nick goes on to explain that this sensitivity is tied to Gatsby's exceptional hopefulness, which Nick calls a "romantic readiness." Gatsby is willing to dream big, to believe that we can achieve our deepest desires, and to be ready to take risks for what he wants most in life. 

However, if we dig deeper into Gatsby's "gorgeous" risk-taking hopefulness—symbolized in the great parties he throws, the car he drives, and the pink suits he wears—we find this quality is connected to death as well as hope. To fly as high as Gatsby dares to, to come so close to the "sun" of his desires, is to court death.  

For instance, we learn of "Gatsby's gorgeous car." This car, of course, will be the instrument of Myrtle's death that leads to Gatsby's own death.

Second, when Tom and Daisy finally come to one of Gatsby's grand parties, they are faced with a "gorgeous" image of death, "scarcely human," a woman who is both "gorgeous" and "ghostly." This detail is not random:

Gatsby indicated a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman who sat in state under a white plum tree. Tom and Daisy stared, with that peculiarly unreal feeling that accompanies the recognition of a hitherto ghostly celebrity of the movies.

Finally, the last time Nick sees Gatsby alive, in a scene fraught with foreboding, he is wearing  a "gorgeous" suit: 

His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a...

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