Did Gatsby really love Daisy or was his aim different from just a love?
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First of all, you must remember to place the novel in the age it represented-the Jazz Age when anything seemed possible and women, especially wealthy women, were feeling a power they were never able to previously possess. Gatsby certainly did love Daisy, and all she represented to him - -success, power, and glamor. She was the unattainable, his Dream. However, Gatsby creates this love for Daisy, just as he creates a fantasy life. She is integral to his dream for success. In fact, "her voice was full of money," the symbol of the American Deam.Unfortunately, loving for wealth and power usually amounts to little at the end of the day. And Gatsby and his dream are defeated:"He did not know it [his dream]was already behind him... where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night."
Gatsby loved Daisy, in his way. In ch. 6, after Gatsby's party which Tom and Daisy attended, Jay reveals to Nick how he and Daisy fell in love. He explains that when he kissed her, he fell deeply in love with her. Whether one kiss can being about that kind of enduring love is questionable and certainly a strong argument can be made that what Jay loved was the idea of Daisy more than Daisy herself. She was, afterall, beautiful and rich as well as fun. She represented to Jay everything that he knew he wanted in life and at the time of their first kiss, did not have. She was his golden girl in every sense of the word. He even says, in ch. 7, that her voice was full of money. Nick realizes also that what Jay Gatsby wanted was for Daisy to tell Tom she didn't love him and magically revert to the Daisy that Jay had fallen in love with five years before the summer of the story. That attests to the idea that Jay loved the idea of Daisy more than he loved the person. Another bit of evidence that leads to that idea is that Nick notes when Jay and Daisy have reunited after the tea party at Nick's, that Jay's list of enchanted objects had been reduced by one; as if there was a slight anti-climax to the renewal of his and Daisy's relationship.
Gatsby loved daisy, but more than that he loved what she represented. She had the grace and class of old money which was something he never had. He had to re-invent himself to be good enough for her, which became a life consuming quest in which she became the perfect and unattainable goal which he loved more than anything else. At the end of the story when she failed to live up to this image, he still loved her like he always had, because he couldnt turn away from the life and image he had created for himself.
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