The Great Gatsby Time Analysis

410 Words2 Pages
In the novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald manipulates time in the book as a force that cannot be changed. Throughout the novel, Gatsby’s life was formed around the idea of his past, but he can no longer live in the past. Fitzgerald explores the idea of Gatsby being trapped in the past. Gatsby spent his life longing for his dream of Daisy, which eventually became the reason of his death. The uses of time is portrayed in the awkward encounter at Nick’s house where Daisy and Gatsby met for tea. “His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock…the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers, and set it back in place. Then he sat down, rigidly, his elbow on the arm of the sofa and his chin in his hand. ‘I’m sorry about the clock,’ he said…‘It’s an old clock,’ I told them idiotically. I think we all believed for a moment that it had smashed in pieces on the floor.” (Fitzgerald 87). Gatsby leaning back on the clock is representative of him relying on the past to reunite Daisy and him. When the clock falls, Gatsby catches the clock, although it is already old and broken and can never be fixed, like Daisy and Gatsby’s…show more content…
“‘Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!’ He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand. ‘I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,’ he said, nodding determinedly. ‘She’ll see.’ 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 once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was…”
Open Document