Why does Gatsby associate with various people at the beginning of chapter 4 in The Great Gatsby?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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At the beginning of Chapter Four of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Nick narrates that church bells ring on a Sunday in the villages while

the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby's house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn.

As Nick records the names of the myriad of guests who pay Gatsby "the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him," Fitzgerald portrays the superficiality as well as the criminality of some of the guests who come from every social stratum.  This mixture of people is a tableau of the frivolous Jazz Age as well as a suggestion of the excess of the time and the dual nature of Jay Gatsby, who seeks to create an image of himself as hero with his opulence and myth-like car.  That Gatsby does not even know many of his guests matters not to him.  He simply wishes to appear rich and popular to Daisy as "All these people came to Gatsby's house in the summer.

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