True Love/Romanticism

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to be a story about true love. True love, however, is not represented at all in the book. Rather it is a story about true love that evolves into an obsession, and ends in a beautiful dream.

The supposed love story told in Fitzgerald’s book is between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. When the two first meet, it seems like the perfect love story. The two would sit and talk for hours, “they were so engrossed in each other…” (74) that it seemed as though what they had was true love. Daisy, however, saw it for what it truly was: a pretty dream. She married a wealthy man and moved on with her life. Gatsby did not; he believed he had found an everlasting love in Daisy and did not stop loving her. Even when he left to fight in World War I.

Upon returning from the war, Gatsby “committed himself to the following of a grail.” (149) He cut out any newspaper article with Daisy’s name in it, bought the house across the sound from hers, and made all the money he could to impress her. His life’s purpose became the pursuit of Daisy. It was as if “he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy.” (111)

His dream of love grew when he learns that his new neighbor, Nick Carraway, is Daisy’s “second cousin once removed.” (5) Gatsby uses Nick’s connection to set up a rendezvous between him and Daisy. The afternoon starts out rocky but smoothes out by the end; even though “there must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams…” (95) Gatsby’s true love for Daisy has turned into a romantic dream of a lost, past love.

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