I’m going to drain the pool to-day, Mr. Gatsby. Leaves’ll start falling pretty soon, and then there’s always trouble with the pipes.”
Gatsby tries to defy the passage of time and cling to the past. Even as the autumn leaves are beginning to fall, he won’t let the servant clean the pool, and instead decides to go swimming as though it were still the height of summer. This becomes an especially potent symbol later on, when Wilson finds Gatsby in the pool and kills him. If Gatsby had been in the house, and not pursuing hobbies out of season, things might have gone differently; but because of Gatsby’s hamartia (tragic flaw)—a hopeless attachment to the past—he is doomed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Great Gatsby (Chapter VIII)” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and leave a comment on the lyrics box