Why does Fitzgerald focus so much on Gatsby's past in Ch. 6 of The Great Gatsby? Why is there so much background?
What is the meaning of the imagery of Gatsby kissing Daisy in the end of ch. 6? Importance?
In The Great Gatsby, the history of Gatsby's relationship with Daisy, and the origins of that relationship, are vital to understanding Gatsby's dream and illusion--what he is trying to recapture.
The history in chapter six reveals Gatsby's naivete and lack of experience--he is enchanted by Daisy's home--Nick tells the reader that Gatsby had never experienced anything like it, and the home alone suggested romantic tales and mysteries inside, to Gatsby.
Chapter six reveals that Daisy is somewhat of a trophy or goal for Gatsby--the fact that numerous soldiers had sought Daisy's company is a plus for Gatsby, not a detriment.
The kiss in chapter six makes Gatsby's dream more concrete, in the way any image makes ideas more concrete. It shows the reader what Gatsby experienced, and what he is trying to recapture. The kiss provides Gatsby's dream with romance.
Unfortunately, chapter six also establishes that Gatsby is "out of his league" with Daisy. And five years and the story that's narrated in the novel do not change that.
When an author gives background about characters it is because you need to know it to understand why upcoming events happen, or to put together the pieces of an intellectual puzzle of a story.
This chapter is wedged between Gatsby's rekindling of his relationship with Daisy in chapter 5, and the climax of the book chapter 7. It lets us know that there was history to the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy and why it didn't work out last time.
Chapter 7 will reveal if it can last under these new circumstances, or if for some unforeseen reason that it just can't work out. As far as Gatsby is concerned, he has now met every qualification of hers that she had years ago, which is why the background in chapter 6 was necessary.
Gatsby believes that he "can repeat the past." That kiss in the end of chapter 6 was described as the incarnation of love. It was artistically written as if Gatsby and Daisy were Shrek and Fiona when they kissed and sparks flew, they were lifted off the ground, they became one, and a master transformation took place. It was a moment that forever defined them and Gatsby feels he can get that back... time will tell. Keep reading!