house on fire

p. 86:

When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire.

This was the last lonely night of anticipation for Jay Gatsby. He’d been planning and plotting and building for years, finally purchased a mansion across the water from his love, and found the perfect excuse for reintroduction in his humble neighbor. He lit his house from tower to cellar, wandered the rooms with the eye of a diamond cutter looking to extract brilliance from every corner. He waited and watched for his neighbor to come home so they could finalize the planned day.

Putting everything that you have into the realization of a single dream is a dangerous affair. Even if the dream appears to come true, it inevitably fails to match the fire of anticipation. This is a quiet night in the story, but it’s possibly the best night in Gatsby’s life, the moment when everything he’d dreamed about seemed about to come true.

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