Thoughts of the Great Gatsby
How it works
Infatuation with an object or person can often mislead an individual into believing that they are in love. In the novel, The Great Gatsby the main character is a victim of confusing infatuation with love. A beautiful young lady, Daisy Buchanan attracts Gatsby at a young age and his infatuation for her deepens as they choose different life paths. As he proclaims his undying love for her, he fails to notice the details as to why he holds this love for Daisy. Throughout the novel, Gatsby rarely reflects on any personal details of Daisy. He does however constantly admire her wealth, materialistic assets, and social status. Jay Gatsby has a distorted view of love which does not contain any raw emotional connection, proving he is not truly in love with Daisy Buchanan but is infatuated with the idea of her.
Love is defined as an intense feeling of deep affection for an individual or an immense feeling of warm intimate attachment. When a relationship contains love there is endless growth and emotional connection – things Gatsby and Daisy never shared. Infatuation is known as an individual possessing passionate feelings for another with no depth or valid reasoning. Jay Gatsby has no valid reason for his feelings for Daisy because his love contains no reasoning. However, Jay is infatuated with Daisy due to her image, money and reputation. “He found her excitingly desirable. He went to her house, first with all the other officers, then alone. It amazed him – he had never been in such a beautiful house before. But what gave it an air of breathless intensity was that Daisy lived there…” (Fitzgerald 148). This excerpt shows that he is captivated by the beauty and monetary status of Daisy’s home. Jay is also fond of Daisy due to her physical appearance, social position, and because she is already admired by countless men. Since Daisy is admired by countless men, it increases Gatsby’s value of her because she is the type of woman every man wants.
How it works
Infatuation is a powerful emotion of the human body that quite often leads to the feeling of obsession. Infatuation consumed Gatsby’s soul and changed his persona to the point where he diminished every speck of sanity he had before he met Daisy. When he initially met Daisy; he was captivated by her wealthy persona and admired that she had the world of the social elite handed to her on a silver platter. Gatsby is fully aware he cannot obtain Daisy with his current monetary status, and instead of being defeated he becomes even more infatuated with her. A similar infatuation occurs in The Titanic, in which a lower-class boy falls in over his head with an upper-class beauty. Within no due time, the lower-class working boy becomes attracted to the beauty and glimmer of the woman. The story line claims the two fell crazy in love, however they did not develop any emotional connection but did contain the sexual attraction. In both instances, these men are simply not in love rather they are enchanted by the wealth and get caught up in the midst of it all.
To fall hopelessly in love with an individual it takes time, effort, and requires bonding on a deep emotional level. In their relationship, there was no time to get to know each other, no effort between either of them and most importantly there was no in-depth interactions. Their relationship is relatable to the famous Romeo and Juliet’s relationship created by William Shakespeare in which two star crossed lovers meet and are instantly in “love.” But realistically, two people cannot fall utterly in love within seconds. There is no emotional connection or getting to know each other within those seconds but there is an undying attraction. “He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an overwound clock” (Fitzgerald 92). Gatsby has been building up this image of her for so long that he’s living in a fantasy because truly Daisy does not meet his unrealistic expectations. Thus, if he fell in love with her then she would have been everything he possibly wanted and more.
Throughout the novel, Gatsby redefines himself to be enough for Daisy. He is infatuated with the idea of Daisy and what she represents. As a military officer Gatsby was penniless, thus he desires her monetary position in life and craves her in order to have that status. Daisy symbolizes the American Dream, which is “the ideal that every citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative.” Everyone wants to achieve the American dream similar to how every man is captivated with the desire of obtaining Daisy. Each man would “take what they could get, ravenously and unscrupulously…” (Fitzgerald 141). A gentleman that desired her must pledge to following the holy grail. This holy grail is a symbol of an item that is beyond unobtainable, but every individual has dreams of attaining it. To attain the true American dream, an individual has to be driven to succeed in the depths of their soul. If an individual does not contain a driven, motivated and hard-working personality then they simply would not attain their American dream. Jay Gatsby simply doesn’t have what it takes in the working world of society, so he becomes obsessed with the easier way out which is falling in love with someone who has everything he desires.
Overall, Gatsby was not truly in love with Daisy. What he desired was the embodiment of her. He was obsessed with the illusion of having a woman in his life that everyone wanted. He had no emotional connection to Daisy and no in-depth ties to her overall persona, rather he was infatuated with her reputation and status. Gatsby coveted her for the wealth she contained and value of her social status. In the social world, if he had Daisy wrapped around his arm then his American dream would have been complete. Ultimately, Jay Gatsby was in love with the idea of Daisy and the fantasy land that came with her, not who she was as a person.