Was exempt from my reaction — Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him
All of Gatsby’s actions are manifestations of his desire to be wealthy. Much like the principal actor in a theatrical production, Gatsby is able to maintain his wealthy-man persona by incorporating the superficial appearances of the upper class into his personality and surroundings.
While Nick is critiquing Gatsby’s façade, scorning his inability to be authentic because he has designed his own personality, he is also paying homage to the fact that Gatsby is determined enough to be in character at all times. Although his actions may be superficially motivated, there’s something “unbroken” and raw about the sheer willpower with which he performs his persona. Gatsby has embodied his desires to the point where his gestures are believable to himself and draw in those around him, like an audience at a play.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Great Gatsby (Chapter I)” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and leave a comment on the lyrics box