The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Sheik Of Araby

What is the meaning of the song "Sheik of Araby" in chapter 4 of The Great Gatsby?

On the surface, the song "The Sheik of Araby" in The Great Gatsby symbolizes Gatsby's love for Daisy and his desire to win her back. However, the timing of the appearance of the song makes it seems more like a literary device. The song is first heard while Nick and Jordan are driving through Central Park in a Victoria after Nick has learned the story of Daisy and Gatsby's past.

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In chapter 4 of The Great Gatsby, Nick, while driving in a Victoria through Central Park with Jordan Baker, hears children singing the song "The Sheik of Araby":

I’m the Sheik of Araby

Your love belongs to me.

At night when you’re asleep

Into your tent I’ll creep....

Gatsby is, of course, the Sheik of Araby, and the love that belongs to him is Daisy ’s, but the placement of the song in the novel indicates what Fitzgerald is mainly doing is using some literary magic. What happens before Nick hears the children singing? Jordan tells him the story of Daisy and Gatsby’s past, how they met and fell in love, before it ended...

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