Illustrationof Gatsby’s Love for Daisy in The Great Gatsby
In1925, the renowned American writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The GreatGatsby”,whichwas well received by the American society primarily due to itshistorical relevance concerning upper-class US citizens at the time.In the narrative, Fitzgerald makes a successful attempt tosymbolically depict a collapse of the ‘American dream’ and thesuperficial attributes of the members of America’s high societyduring the 1920s. The book has been replicated into filmreproductions five times, with the most modern production bearing thesame title and released in 2013 and directed by Baz Luhrmann.The characters in the book and film productions manifest differentthemes, through philosophical, personal and poetic standpoints toexpress the interdependence and complexity of human society. JayGatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carraway emerge as major charactersin the film and the book. It is imperative to address the theme oflove as expressed in the original work by Fitzgerald and mostrecently by Luhrmannthroughan examination of Gatsby’s love for Daisy to understand itsconnection and importance in the story.
Boththe book and the film reproduction depict Jay Gatsby as an individualwho sought to attain ‘the American dream.’ Born as a povertystricken child, he is blessed with meeting a rich aristocrat whooffers to nurture him into manhood. “His parents were shiftless andunsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never reallyaccepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby ofWest Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception ofhimself,” (Fitzgerald 99). Gatsby embraces the aristocrat as hismentor and role model and so, begins his road to the American highsociety. Nick Carraway, on the other hand, is an individual with agreat personal insight of the way the American high society lives andas such, moves to Long Island’s West Egg district in an attempt tolearn the under-workings of the bonds market(Luhrmann 4.10).He becomes Gatsby’s next door neighbor. Daisy Buchanan is a scionof America’s high society in the 1920’s. She is Carraway’simmediate cousin and as such plays a pivotal role in enablingaudiences understand the purported love affair affecting the lives ofGatsby and Daisy.
Daisyis a young and angelic lady originally from Louisville and is widelypopular with the many military officials residing at a military baseclose to her home. Prior to his deployment overseas on military duty,Gatsby gets to savor a moment with the greatly admired Daisy under amoonlit path. The author describes this moment intensely
“Heseemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred tohim that the colossal significance of that light had now vanishedforever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him fromDaisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It hadseemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green lighton a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one,”(Fitzgerald 93-94).
Itis at this point that Gatsby gets the impression that Daisy has thepotential to turn him into the man he has always sought to become. Atthis point, he declares to himself his love for the Louisvillebeauty.
However,after serving military duty, he comes back to the US only to findthat his love has been married off to Tom Buchanan, an extremelywealthy individual who resides in West Egg. He makes every attemptpossible to get back with her to the point it no longer seems to befueled by love but rather, by a heart-wrenching obsession. Forinstance, Carraway provides that, “He had waited five years andbought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths–so hecould `come over` some afternoon to a stranger`s garden,”(Fitzgerald63). He is able to accumulate considerable wealth and eventuallypurchases a huge homestead across Tom and Daisy’s home. Gatsbyregularly holds lavish dinner parties in an attempt to lure Daisy inand declare his undying love for her and more so, ask for her hand inmarriage. As Jordan provides, “I think he half expected her towander into one of his parties, some night,” (Fitzgerald 63).Gatsby goes to great lengths to get back Daisy from Buchanan suchthat, she becomes the object of his motivation to succeed in life andbecome a member of America’s high-class society. ‘Her voice isfull of money
“…Thatwas it. I‘d never understood before. It was full of money thatwas the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle ofit, the cymbals’ song of it…High in a white palace the king’sdaughter, the golden girl…” (Fitzgerald 120).
Toget to such a point, Gatsby opts for a life laced with thrivingthrough criminal dealings. In Gatsby’s sight, Daisy is a lady whomanifests sophistication, wealth, grace, charm and aristocracy. Thisis in essence what attracted Daisy to him as he longed for thearistocratic life since childhood and not love as one could expect.
Itis through Carraway’s insights that Fitzgerald and Luhrmann’saudiences understand that Gatsby’s perception of Daisy is misguidedand unrealistic. The delusion is illustrated intensely, “There musthave been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of hisdreams–not through her own fault but because of the colossalvitality of his illusion,” (Fitzgerald 74). As much as she ischarming and endowed with angelic beauty, Carraway exhibits her truepersona as a bored, shallow, sardonic and fickle lady who in hercarelessness destroys other peoples’ lives just to recline back andhide behind the veil of her immense wealth. As such, Gatsby’s lovefor Daisy can simply be described as misguided and more so, anobsession. “He wanted nothing less of Daisy that she should go toTom and say, `I never loved you.` …they were to go back toLouisville and be married from her house–just as if it were fiveyears ago,” (Luhrmann1.12.36).
Throughoutthe book and the film, Gatsby appears to be an individualromantically engrossed into ensuring Daisy becomes his life partner.As such, this is simply a misconception of love. Gatsby, an entirelyself-made individual believes that he can relive the past andactually change it. This fallacy twists his perception of what thegeneral society considers as love. ‘After Gatsby’s death, theEast was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes’ powerof correction (Fitzgerald 176-178). As such, as the narrativecontinues, one comes to embrace that he only wants Daisy as a primestatus symbol to make his meteoric rise to fame complete.
“TheGreat Gatsby”isindeed a great movie to watch and more so, an enjoyable read into theintrigues of human nature as witnessed in the US high society. On thesame note, the narrative is a great insight into how numerousindividuals in the US attempt to attain the ‘American dream’ andsoon after gaining it continue to relive their past only toultimately fail. As this paper has portrayed, Gatsby’s love forDaisy cannot be described as genuine but in essence, he is portrayedas a once poverty-stricken individual seeking to make an angelic ladyof America’s high society a part of his possessions. It is,therefore, not love but an obsession by a man who wanted all but inthe end was consumed by the obsession and losing all. The lady he wasafter, simply turned away and moved on with her life as if it wasnothing but a dream.
Fitzgerald,F. Scott. TheGreat Gatsby-With Audio.Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015. Print.
TheGreat Gatsby.Dir. Baz Luhrmann. Prod. Baz Luhrmann and Lucy Fisher. Perf. LeonardoDiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures,A&E Television Networks, 2013. Film