sudden emptiness

p. 60:

A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host who stood on the porch, his hand up in a formal gesture of farewell.

I love the energy ascribed here to emptiness, a concept that is ordinarily quiet and passive.  Here the emptiness is a kinetic force that fills the house and overflows out the windows and doors, so powerful that it blankets Gatsby in a protective cocoon.

Another wild party is over, and the host stands in the doorway alone, with his true mission still incomplete – the girl of his fevered dreams didn’t come.  He’s chased her across years without seeing her, other than in his boundless imagination.  Now she’s just across the bay, and surely she must see his mansion alight with festivity, night after night, a beacon calling to her to come and join him at last.  But she doesn’t come this night, and all the people and music and laughter that evening have only fed the emptiness which now fills the house and his heart.

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