The Great Gatsby: An Analysis of Love

“If love is only a will to possess, it is not love.” America in the 1920s was a country where moral values ​​were declining. Every American had a goal to achieve: success.

Francis Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, presents a realistic picture of American life in the 1920s. His characters, like many people of that time, only care about money; Getting rich is your main goal. As a result, their relationships, which are no longer based on love, fail.

All the relationships in the novel are failures because they are not based on love, but on materialism.

An example of a failed relationship in The Great Gatsby is the adulterous affair between Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson. This matter is based on mutual exploitation. Tom uses Myrtle for sex; Myrtle receives gifts and money in return. Tom Buchanan, a resident of East Egg, is “old money”, so he despises all who are not of his kind. Therefore, treat Myrtle like trash. Myrtle Wilson, poor George Wilson’s wife, has become disenchanted with her 12-year marriage due to her husband’s lack of success. Her desire for a better life is evident when she recounts her first meeting with Tom:

“I was in the two small seats facing each other that are always the last ones left on the train. I was going to go to New York to see my sister and spend the night. I was wearing a formal suit and patent leather shoes, and No I could take my eyes off him, but every time he looked at me I had to pretend he was looking at the advertisement over his head. When we got to the station, he was next to me and had the front of his white shirt pressed against me. arm, so I told him I had to call a policeman, but he knew I was lying to him. I was so excited that when I got into a taxi with him I barely knew that I was not getting into a taxi. subway. All I thought Over and over again, it was “You can’t live forever, you can’t live forever” (Fitzgerald 42).

Myrtle even believes that Tom will leave Daisy and marry her. In reality, Tom doesn’t even see Myrtle as a person, but as a sex object. This is made clear by his degrading treatment of Myrtle at the party, especially when he breaks her nose for having the gall to mention his wife’s name:

“‘Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ yelled Mrs. Wilson. “I’ll say it anytime I want! Daisy! Dai – ‘With a clever little movement, Tom Buchanan broke his nose with an open hand “(Fitzgerald 43).

The pathetic nature of their relationship is reinforced when she dies. After a fight with George Wilson, Myrtle flees towards a golden car that she thinks is Tom’s. The gold color of the car symbolizes the money, the wealth that Myrtle wants so much. Apparently, the car is driven by Daisy, another symbol of materialism, and what happens has a symbol of transcendence:

A moment later [Myrtle] he ran off at dusk, waving his hands and screaming … The ‘death car’, as the newspapers called it, did not stop … Myrtle Wilson, her life violently quenched, knelt on the road and mixed her blood thick and dark with dust … The mouth was wide open and a little ragged at the corners, as if it had choked a little while giving up the tremendous vitality it had stored for so long (Fitzgerald 143-44).

The nature of Tom and Myrtle’s relationship is best symbolized by the expensive dog leash that Tom had purchased for Myrtle’s puppy. It reflects the fact that Tom is the master, the one who controls his “pet” with money. As a teacher, Tom is free to do as he pleases. As the “dog”, Myrtle receives gifts for her proper behavior. Tom and Myrtle’s unequal status reflects the failure of their relationship, which, given its adulterous nature, was doomed from the start.

Buchanan’s marriage is also a complete failure. It’s the war that separated Daisy and Gatsby, and her absence is one of the reasons she married Tom. However, the most important factor was his money and his status. Tom is from a wealthy family. You can give Daisy anything you want. The wedding ceremony demonstrated this:

In June [Daisy] she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville had ever known before. He went down with a hundred people in four private cars, rented an entire floor of the Muhlbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a pearl necklace valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars (Fitzgerald 82).

That it is a marriage of convenience – not of love – is manifested on several occasions in the novel. For example, while Daisy was giving birth to her only child, “Tom was God knows where” (Fitzgerald 23). Also, Tom’s infidelity begins only after 3 months of marriage. A newspaper account of Tom’s accident mentions that the waitress had a broken arm. Of course, Daisy knows Tom too well; he even offers his “little gold pencil” to get him the number of a “pretty but ordinary” girl he’s interested in at Gatsby’s party, though Tom pretends to want to switch tables for another reason. The fact is, your marriage is built on wealth and power; that’s what holds them together and reveals how sterile marriage is.

Gatsby is the one who tries to separate Tom and Daisy. Gatsby’s dream is to reunite with Daisy, go back in time, and marry Daisy. This is his incorruptible dream, as Gatsby says to Nick: “‘Can’t you repeat the past?’ [Gatsby] he yelled in disbelief. ‘Of course you can!’ “(Fitzgerald 117).

After meeting with Daisy, Gatsby begins an adventure that is made possible because he is extremely wealthy; Daisy is a materialist that money can attract. When they first meet, Daisy shows little real emotion. Only when he shows her his huge mansion and his expensive possession does Daisy show strong emotion. For example, how Gatsby shows you his expensive clothes from England; “Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy leaned her head into her shirts and began to cry stormy” (Fitzgerald 99).

When the romance between Gatsby and Daisy is discovered, Tom and Gatsby are confronted by Daisy. At this pivotal event, Daisy reveals her true vision of her romance with Gatsby: that it was simply a way to fill her empty days, an entertainment. It is also revenge for Tom’s many adulterous adventures. Deep in her heart, she is undeterred: “‘Oh, you want too much!’ [Daisy] he yelled at Gatsby. ‘I love you now, isn’t that enough? I can’t help what happened. ‘ She began to sob helplessly. ‘I loved him once, but I also loved you’ “(Fitzgerald 139).

Having betrayed Gatsby twice already, Daisy now betrays him one last time, not wanting to face the consequences of Myrtle’s death, Daisy and Tom conspire to frame Gatsby for the accident. Gatsby is later killed by George Wilson, as Tom has led him to believe that Gatsby is Myrtle’s lover and murderer.

In the end, this relationship fails because Daisy values ​​nothing but materialism; He doesn’t even send a flower to Gatsby’s charter.

Love is essential in a relationship. However, materialism is central to the relationship featured in The Great Gatsby. Those relationships are failures because they are based on the physical rather than the spiritual. Fitzgerald shows that any relationship based on materialism will fail in the end.

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