Saalfeld 1 Hayden Saalfeld Dr. Cui English 5 December 2016 Analytical Essay of The Great Gatsby “I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past.” “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 shadows 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.” (116-117) As wonderful as the past may seem, one should not try to recreate it, for it will never be the same. This is the theme that this passage develops. Gatsby is stuck in a state of nostalgia. He wants to have things just as they used to be. Nick acts as the voice of reason by calmly pointing out that the past can’t be repeated. Gatsby is taken aback by this, and it seems as though he takes offense from it: “‘can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously.” This hysterical response is followed by more hysteria, as he “look[s] around him wildly” and says “I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before… she’ll see” (117). This behavior is obsessive and it borders on craziness. His desire to repeat the past is nearly driving him mad.