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Thread: Question about a passage from a poem

  1. #1
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    Question about a passage from a poem

    Hello everyone,

    The novel The Great Gatsby of F. Scott Fitzgerald is introduced by the following passage :
    Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
    If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
    Till she cry 'Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
    I must have you!'
    The first line is clear and means if a girl's attention may be caught by buying expensive clothes ( and more general things I guess ) then do it. But what does it mean to " bounce high " . Does the author mean you have to work hard to achieve great things in order to seduce the girl ? Or just to do idiot things so that girl distinguishes you ?

    I hope you can help me understand that introduction.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    I think you've got the essence, which is do whatever you can to impress the girl. However, it's ironic given the outcome of the novel.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

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    Thank you for your answer. Because when I search "to bounce" I just find that it means to jump, to rebound... Maybe the author means by it to act fancily.

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhao View Post
    Thank you for your answer. Because when I search "to bounce" I just find that it means to jump, to rebound... Maybe the author means by it to act fancily.
    I think implicit in the line is the irony of "bouncing" being a pointless action without any inherent value, which juxtaposed with the line about the gold hats reinforces the frivolity of material luxury.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

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    Thank you for your answers.

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