Love in The Great Gatsby

Essay by engelliliaUniversity, Bachelor's May 2009

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The great Gatsby can be characterized as being one of the great American love stories of the 20th century. Love is a major theme throughout the novel, whether it is between Tom and Myrtle, nick and Jordan or Gatsby and Daisy. Although all the affairs in the novel seems tangled they are very different form each other.

One of the affairs in the novel is the relationship between Tom and Myrtle. They met for the first time on a train when myrtle was going to visit her sister in New York. Tom rented an apartment in New York where he and Myrtle used to have parties. On one hand, Myrtle considers Tom as her ticket out of her miserable life. With his money, Tom could buy her anything she wanted even a puppy and that is something Wilson could not afford. On the other hand, Tom looks at Myrtle as an object that he possesses.

That is symbolized in the expensive leash for the puppy which is to say that he is the master and he gets to do what pleases him. The relationship give its adulterous nature was doomed to fail; Tom was never planning to leave Daisy, he even told Myrtle that she is Catholic though she was not just so she won't ask him to divorce his wife.

Another love affair starts by the beginning of the novel is between Nick and Jordan. It started at the Buchanan's mansion. Nick was immediately attracted to Jordan's indifference air and self-sufficiency. Then they accidentally met in one of Gatsby's parties. Jordan started to take Nick with her to places which made him very flattered sine she was well-known golf player. Both of them were essential elements for the re-union of Gatsby and Daisy. And later, they were witnesses for the confrontation between Gatsby and Tom. After Myrtle got killed in the accidents, Nick had enough of those people including Jordan. Weeks later, they met again but they had nothing to say to each other since Jordan was engaged to another man. This relation fell short because of many reasons: Nick was physically attracted to Jordan; throughout the novel, he constantly gave accurate description of her appearance like in page 7 when he said:"…,I enjoyed looking at her. She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with an erect carriage, which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet. Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face.."At first, he was reluctant by her carelessness, bored and arrogant behavior. But entering the upper world( becoming Gatsby's friend) it did not matter for him any more. Same thing for Jordan, she underestimated him at first because he was of lower class but noticing his contact with Gatsby change her judgment. Soon after they broke up she found another man worth her time and that is a proof that she was not really in love with him.

The most important love affair is the one held between Gatsby and Daisy. It is not mentioned in the novel how they met, just that knew each other in Louisville in 1917. Gatsby was drafted to the war and Daisy getting tired of waiting for him, got married with Tom who lured her with his fortune. Gatsby somehow to gather great fortune, built a great cross the bay from Daisy's house and, was throwing huge parties every Saturday night just in order to gain her back. Their next meeting was planned by Nick and Jordan when Nick invited her to tea at his home. Daisy went to visit Gatsby's mansion and she was impressed by his wealthy set of t-shirts. The affair kept going until it raised Tom's suspicion so, he started to investigate in the affairs of Gatsby. It was not until that evening when they all went to the Plaza Hotel that he told Daisy of his dealing in illegal business. Therefore, She refused to leave Tom for him. This relationship was not meant to be successful; both Gatsby and Daisy were selfish in their way: Daisy all she loved about him is his money and he was pass-time to fill the void in her boring life. Gatsby loved the idea of Daisy that he had back in Louisville. He was an ambitious man and his goal in life was to gain Daisy back, he did not care that she was married and had a daughter all he wanted is to fulfill his dream.

There is George Wilson's love to myrtle, there I not much revealed about him in the novel, but from the little stated we can understand that his love was a fine one; he cared about his wife and her well-fare that is why he worked so hard just to provide her a decent life out of the Valley of Ashes.

From the above relationships and the definition of love stated earlier, we can distinguish three types of love in The Great Gatsby: materialistic love, obsessive love and spiritual love.

The first type is the most prevalent one in the novel; it is embodied in Daisy's interest in Gatsby and Myrtle's love for Tom. Gatsby's love is the second type because he sought an ideal love. The spiritual love is the true love; it is scarce in the novel. It may be presented in George's love for Myrtle after all she was the reason of his life when she died he did not hesitate in avenging her and taking his own life in the process.

sources:F. Scott Fitzgerald, the great Gatsby. P:19