By Harold Bloom

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Additional info for F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (Bloom's Guides)

Sample text

But he also did not yet have it; Daisy would go home at the end of the day. As well, the realization would come soon that the love he hoped to recreate could never be the same, if it had indeed ever really been as he had imagined (a possibility for which the text leaves ample interpretive room). After that moment, Nick notices the photograph of Dan 52 Cody, setting up the further development of Gatsby’s past set to happen in the next chapter. As Nick does so, Daisy looks, too, and notes how Gatsby never told her anything about the yachting.

When he does, his observations sharpen, contradict, and paint Gatsby in a memorable paragraph wherein the man is forcefully revealed as cultivating his own persona: He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

Eckleburg when, in fact, they are a woman’s eyes, eyes often read as Daisy’s. Daisy’s gaze changes the way Nick and Gatsby see the world in which they are embroiled, and her face is itself representative of all Gatsby wishes to achieve. The eyes of Eckleburg represent other things—as detailed in the excerpts in this volume’s next section. But perspective and its change—whether as a result of class, sex, or a change in character—are major themes of the novel, expressed ever more forcefully in the later chapters of the novel.

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