“I did, old sport,” he said automatically
The choice adverb ‘automatically’ reveals an awful lot about Gatsby’s motivation. He is fuelled by forces beyond his control and cannot master his attraction to the wealth and status represented by Daisy. His actions are almost non-deliberate, which invites our sympathy for his folly.
This idea is evidenced throughout the novel. Upon being reunited with Daisy, he is described as breaking down ‘like an over-wound clock’, iterating the idea that he is lacking control.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Great Gatsby (Chapter V)” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and leave a comment on the lyrics box