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In The Great Gatsby, if Daisy says she's never loved Tom, is there someone whom she...

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maddycraft | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:38 AM via web

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In The Great Gatsby, if Daisy says she's never loved Tom, is there someone whom she thinks she loves?

 

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:34 AM (Answer #1)

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In Chapter VII, Daisy's former relationship with Gatsby in Louisville and the resumption of their love affair is brought to Tom's attention in a dramatic confrontation in a hotel room in New York. Gatsby demands that Daisy tell her husband that she never loved him; this is of critical importance to him. He needs to believe that his and Daisy's love for each other years before had been so complete and so pure that she never could have loved anyone else.

Daisy never intended to reach the point where she would have to confront her feelings and choose between her husband and her lover, but she gives in to Gatsby's persistence and does tell Tom she never loved him. Her words are weak and unconvincing, however, and she takes them back almost immediately. In a state of great distress, Daisy turns on Gatsby:

"Oh, you want too much!" she cried to Gatsby. "I love you now--isn't that enough? I can't help what's past." She began to sob helplessly. "I did love him once--but I loved you too."

Daisy is telling the truth, but it is truth that Gatsby does not want to hear because it destroys the foundation of the dream he has lived for since leaving Daisy in Louisville when he was called away to World War I.

Daisy says she loved Gatsby in the past and she loves him now. The antecedent action in the novel supports the idea that she had indeed loved Gatsby, her young lieutenant who went to war. However, her behavior following this confrontation shows clearly that she did not love him anymore. When forced to choose between Tom and Gatsby, Daisy remains with her wealthy husband and responds in no way at all when Gatsby is soon murdered.

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