What evidence is there that Gatsby still lacks the background to attract a person from Daisy’s social class, despite his wealth in The Great Gatsby?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The rejection of the Sloanes in Chapter Six of The Great Gatsby evinces the rejection of Jay Gatsby by the upper class of East Egg who have "background."

After having arranged for Gatsby to meet Daisy at his cottage, Nick does not see either one for a while. But one Sunday Nick stops to visit Gatsby and is surprised to find Tom Buchanan there along with Mr. and Mrs. Sloane as they all have been out riding their horses. Nervously, Gatsby informs Tom that he knows Daisy; then, he invites Tom and the Sloanes to remain for dinner, but they decline. As the others converse, the Sloanes do not enter the conversation; however, after Mrs. Sloane has a couple of drinks, she says, "We'll all come to your next party, Mr. Gatsby." Gatsby expresses delight that they will come. Then, he suggests that Tom and the Sloanes stay for supper. When Mrs. Sloane says, "You come to supper with me," her husband says "Come along" to her only.

Gatsby looked at me questioningly. He wanted to go and he didn't see that Mr. Sloane had determined he shouldn't.

When everyone but Gatsby goes outside, Mr. Sloane takes his wife aside and has a private "impassioned conversation" with her.

"My God, I believe the man's coming," said Tom. "Doesn't he know she doesn't want him?"

Tom and the Sloanes mount their horses and start to go, but not before Gatsby, who has no horse, has said he will follow them in his car. But, just as he steps outside with his light overcoat and hat, he realizes that they have quickly trotted away. Thus, it is apparent that Gatsby is not of the same social class as the Sloanes, and he will not be socially acceptable at their "big dinner party [where] he won't know a soul...." as Mr. Sloane has said.

Tom also wonders how someone like Jay Gatsby would know Daisy. Of course, the truth is that Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, "sprang from his Platonic conception of himself" and is not accepted by the social class of East Egg. 

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The Great Gatsby

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