In Love With an Idea

May 15, 2017
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In the The Great Gatsby love seems to appear quite frequently, and because it is mentioned so often it is generally considered a theme throughout the story. A main argument for love in the The Great Gatsby is: is Gatsby actually in love with Daisy, or is he in love with the idea of Daisy. For most this argument is very clear it is either he is in love with Daisy, or he isn’t in love with her, but if you were to reread the book more in depth you would know that this argument is much more complicated than you originally realized as there are points in the book that be for either argument.


Unfortunately most, if not all of the arguments that could be used to say that Gatsby is in love with Daisy can also be used for the other side of this argument which is, Gatsby is in love with the idea of Daisy not Daisy herself. For example: when Nick invites Daisy over to his house for Gatsby, you see that Gatsby enters Nick’s house all wet and quickly gets to nervously pacing about Nick’s living room asking Nick random out of the blue questions about Daisy and how he looks, you could see this as an example of what was previously stated because this little scene in the book alone give you a lot of information to go off of for the two sides of the argument such as; for the side that says that he is in love with Daisy ther is wondering if he looks okay, this works the argument because it shows that he want everything to be absolutely perfect even himself. For the side that says that Gatsby is only in love with the idea of Daisy there is the fact that he wants everything to be perfect even himself, so in order to dot that he modeled himself to look like he did when he first met Daisy. There is also the fact that Gatsby was rapid firing questions at Nick about what is she like and all that, what this shows is that he is seeing if she had changed since the last time he last saw her so he knows how to talk and act around Daisy. When Daisy arrives Gatsby decides that the best course of action for her to see him is for him to walk out the back door and walk around the house back to the front door, if Gatsby was actually in love with he would’ve stayed inside the living room of Nick’s house and stayed to greet her for the first time in ages. And there is also the fact that he was so nervous to meet her if he was actually in love with Daisy Gatsby would’ve been eager to talk to her, probably about topics such as: what has happened since they last talked. This can all also be taken as immaturity from Gatsby. The following quote shows how Gatsby is immature by going completely out of his way to maybe see Daisy, “It was a strange coincidence," I said. "But it wasn't a coincidence at all." "Why not?" "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay."(p.63:). This quote shows immaturity from Gatsby because went way out of his way and budget to maybe, probably not,  get to talk to Daisy again instead of just going to see her when he came back from the war. Also there is the fact that the following quote reveals even more immaturity from Jay Gatsby "...he says he's read a Chicago paper for years on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy's name.”(p.63). This is immature because once again he is going out of his way to maybe catch a glimpse of her on the paper, he’ll probably take anything if it mentions her name. I mean why didn’t Gatsby just get a phone book from Chicago to call up Daisy, that would be a way more effective approach than reading a newspaper for years on end.


Another reason Gatsby is in love with the idea of Daisy and not actually Daisy is the the fact that he thinks that he can remake the past. Nick even tells Gatsby that no one can remake the past, but Gatsby replies with full-heartedness that if he could get back together with Daisy all of his wants/needs would become possible and happen. You could see how this is an example of Gatsby’s love with the idea of Daisy is because you can not remake the past, what is done is done. A writer on Shmoop said: “Love the one you’re with, or love the one you were with? Gatsby reaches forward, but he’s reaching back into the past to a Daisy who doesn’t exist anymore. Yeah, this relationship is doomed.”(Shmoop Editorial Team).  This quote works because the quote it is based on from the book is from when Gatsby is standing on the pier reaching forward towards the green light at the end of Daisy and Tom Buchanan's dock. You can also see that in the same quote as mentioned above that Gatsby was trembling, why would he be trembling if he actually loved Daisy he would probably just miss her, immensely. Another quote from the book is: “There must of been moments where even Daisy fell short of dreams--not through her own fault but because the colossal vitality of his illusion.”(p.76). This quotes shows that even though Daisy is his dream girl not even she could live up to everything he wanted because the girl that he thought was Daisy never actually existed.


In conclusion Gatsby was completely in of with idea of Daisy, or maybe he was in love with the idea of being in love with Daisy, it was most likely the former though. You may now be able to see why love is such a main idea in the The Great Gatsby. For most the argument is simple, Gatsby either is in love with Daisy, or he is in love with the idea of Daisy, for these people they don’t need an explanation to prove that their idea is right. Love does have a frequency to show up in books, especially The Great Gatsby, in order to get more romance than this book contains you would have to be reading a romance novel!  But you do, so hopefully this essay convinced you that Jay Gatsby, previously James Gatz, is in love with the idea of Daisy, or inspired you to write an opposing argument to this about how Gatsby is in love with Daisy.






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