F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best-known novel chronicles the star-crossed romance between Louisville debutante Daisy Fay Buchanan and a local soldier, the future tycoon Jay Gatsby. It’s 1922, and Gatsby is now wealthy. Having found Daisy again, he fantasizes she will leave her husband Tom Buchanan. Daisy’s cousin Nick Carraway, the book’s narrator, is visiting Gatsby after a party at his Long Island mansion.
He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house — just as if it were five years ago.
He began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers. “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!”