The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Analysis of Chapter 6
Nick's insights into Gatsby's past help the reader get a complete understanding of the character. Gatsby was an unhappy youth who yearned for something better. He wanted it so badly he created a type of imaginary world in which to inhabit. When Nick talks about Gatsby's false name he says "I suppose he's had that name for a long time, even then". Gatsby has spent much of his life with the image of something better planted firmly in his mind. And when Dan Cody takes him under his wing he gets a glimpse into that world and believes that he can one day attain it, that he can one day be a part of it.
That is what makes the scene with Tom and the horseback riders so hard for Gatsby. He tries to fit in, be gracious, but in the end they leave without him. The funeral towards the end of the book also highlights this point. For all the effort that Gatsby put into being a member of "the club" he never fits in. He's a novelty to others, not an equal.
But Gatsby did fit in during that moment between he and Daisy that Nick talks about. He was being accepted by one of the wealthy and elite. It was one of the most complete moments of Gatsby's life and he believes that if he gets Daisy back, he can return to moments like those. As Nick says, "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".
- Chapter Summaries & Analysis
- Character Analysis
- Important Quotes