The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the theme/conflict and symbolism in chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby?

The main theme of chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby is the persistence and attaining of desire, and the main conflict is internal within Jay Gatsby. Because Gatsby's desire for Daisy Buchanan motivates his other pursuits, he has substituted material possessions for the woman. Important symbols of his attaining those things instead of her are his house and its furnishings and his wardrobe, especially his beautiful shirts. The changing weather also symbolizes Gatsby's attaining Daisy.

Expert Answers info

Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write5,491 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby uses Nick as his go-between to arrange a meeting with Daisy Buchanan at Nick’s house. For five years, Jay has dreamed of making Daisy his own. The desire he felt for her when they had a brief romance has not died back; on the contrary, he arranged his life so that he can fulfill that desire. The obstacles to achieving this goal have only motivated him to be more persistent. Even the fact that she is married and has a daughter has not stopped him.

Gatsby has deliberately purchased and furnished a mansion across the bay from Daisy’s home. One factor he did not control was Nick’s preexisting relationship with Daisy and his moving in next door. Once Jay learned about this relationship, however, he did not hesitate to use Daisy’s friend Jordan as well as Nick to arrange a rendezvous.

During the time that they are waiting for Daisy to arrive, it is raining. After Nick leaves them alone, the sun comes out. The change in both Jay’s and Daisy’s...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 915 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,925 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Cameron Schamberger eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write31 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial