Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter V) on Rap Genius

Meaning

His whole life is precarious, to the extent that he lacks stability in the physical world. ‘Reality’ is a loose concept to this dreamer because he has constructed such an incredible world around himself. This extends to include Daisy, who, in Gatsby’s eyes, has grown in concept to unrealistic proportions.

It’s worth noting that Nick Carraway finds an element of humour in Gatsby’s instability. Toppling down stairs can only be a comic image. Nick recognises the absurdity of Gatsby, even whilst being amazed by him.

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