In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is portrayed as a naive and heartbroken man who will do anything to revive his relationship with the love of his life; even if it means reliving the past. Gatsby is a victim to temptation, manipulation, society and obsessive love. However it is because of this obsessive and incessant love that the rest of his problems unfold. He is so blinded and determined to gain the approval of his former lover, he allows himself to be made a mockery by society.
It is made clear that Gatsby moved to West Egg for the sole reason that the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, lives with her husband Tom in a house within sight of Gatsbys mansion. I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some nightbut she never did (Fitzgerald.4.84). As Daisys friend Jordan explains the situation to the narrator and Daisys cousin, Nick Carraway, she notes that although Gatsby threw countless parties that were no interest of him in hopes that Daisy would one day stumble in, she was clueless to how very close Jay Gatsby was to her. Gatsby lacked the courage to approach Daisy, even though he worked his life around his dream of seeing her again.
Gatsby was referred to by the socialites as new money. Living in West Egg was less respectable then living in East Egg. The social structure was not of much concern to Gatsby and he paid little attention to etiquette or class. His obsession with Daisy took top priority, and while his intentions were sincere, Gatsby put himself in positions to be made a fool. My God, I believe the mans comingDoesnt he know she doesnt want him?(Fitzgerald.6.109). When invited by the Sloanes, a wealthy couple from East Egg, to eat dinner with them, Gatsby innocently accepts, not realizing it was merely a formality. His pure love for Daisy shows through in all aspects of his life, affecting his judgment and ability to see through those with less than genuine intentions.
One of the main themes throughout The Great Gatsby is Gatsbys attempt to turn back time and relive what he had in the past with Daisy. Cant repeat the pastwhy of course you can!(Fitzgerald.6.116). It is clear that the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy remains only in the past, and it is apparent to all but the two that their relationship ended many years ago. Since the five years they last saw each other, Daisy moved on with her life; although neither she nor Gatsby are willing to admit to it.
Gatsbys love for Daisy affects every aspect of his life, and when he is finally able to reunite with her, it is hard to believe that nothing has changed in their relationship. Almost five years! There must have been momentswhen Daisy tumbled short of his dreamsbecause of the colossal vitality of his illusionNo amount of freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart(Fitzgerald.5.101). Nick cannot imagine that Daisy could possibly live up to the goddess-like vision Gatsby has stored up and embellished on for five years. However, once again blinded by love, he ignores Daisys flaws, and attempts to rekindle their former life.
Gatsby is aware that Daisy is a very superficial woman and he knows the only way he could possibly have her love is through wealth and status. Gatsby turns to shady and possibly illegal means to attain the money that he knows will win Daisy over. His obsessive love is his chief vice that causes all his others. Her voice is full of money (Fitzgerald.7.127). Gatsby doesnt see Daisy as shallow or consider her a gold digger, he thinks it is he who must progress and become wealthy in order to satisfy her lavish lifestyle.
After a confrontation with Daisys husband, Tom, Gatsby expects nothing less of Daisy than for her to tell Tom that she never loved him. He couldnt possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope and I couldnt bear to shake him free (Fitzgerald.8.155). Gatsby refuses to give up his dream that Daisy will leave everything behind to live with him and start their life together. Until he hears it from Daisys mouth, and maybe even after that, Gatsby will always have faith that she will come back to him. Much of this false hope can be attributed to Daisy and her manipulation, which leads Gatsby to think that he may get his wish.
Nick was forced to watch every encounter between Daisy and Gatsby, and witness Daisy lead Gatsby into thinking she would leave her husband for him. Nick knows that nothing anyone can say could change how Gatsby feels about Daisy and stop him from trying to win her over. And he stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream (Fitzgerald.8.162). Gatsbys intentions with Daisy were nothing but pure and his dream in life was for her to return his love that he liked to believe existed.
Gatsby was aware that his friends used him and until Nick came along, there may not have been a soul who truly cared for him. He made a fool of himself in society, but he is not concerned in the least. Gatsby had a dream and nothing could deter him from achieving it. His obsessive love for Daisy caused many problems in his life, and eventually lead to his death. However, Gatsby would most likely take this punishment in return for the time he was finally able to spend with his one true love.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Macmillan Publishing Company. New York. 1992.
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