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The Great Gatsby

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Gatsby's First and Last Swim

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In Chapter 8, when a servant informs Gatsby he intends to drain the pool, Gatsby asks him not to, and says to Nick, “You know, old sport, I’ve never used that pool all summer.”

What do the pool and Gatsby’s desire to swim before it is closed symbolize?

A

Although he has a lot of money, Gatsby has never truly understood the habits and customs of the wealthy. His desire to swim, even though the season is over is symbolic of him having the external accoutrements of the wealthy, but not the internal knowledge of that that means.

B

The pool and Gatsby’s desire to swim are symbolic of his carelessness. He knows it will be dangerous to swim, but he believes he is invincible, so he does not take normal precautions to protect himself.

C

Gatsby’s pool symbolizes his arrogance and his desire to be wealthy. He interferes with the servants work to prove that he can.

D

Gatsby’s pool and his desire to swim represent his belief that one can relive the past and that there is always a hope of recapturing a time that has ended.

E

Gatsby’s decision represents his regret about how he has spent the summer. He has only a few servants left, and has never had time to enjoy his home.