The Great Gatsby Chapter 6 Quotes
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Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: "I never loved you." After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house—just as if it were five years ago. (6.125)
Gatsby actually wants Daisy to erase the past, like in some sort of mediocre sci-fi movie. Sorry: this is real life, and it can't be done. Everyone has to live with the consequences of their past, whether they want to or not.
I suppose he'd had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people—his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God – a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that – and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end. (6.6-7)
"Jay Gatsby" may be a deception in the eyes of the world, but to James Gatz, "Gatsby" is the truth about him. Is it really a lie if you believe it with all your heart?
He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was… (6.132)
Gatsby can't deal with what his life's become, but instead of wanting to change it going forward, he wants to head back to the past. Hint: it doesn't work like that.