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What quote could be used to show that Gatsby doesn't really love Daisy, but he loves...

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katherines123 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 10, 2010 at 6:45 AM via web

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What quote could be used to show that Gatsby doesn't really love Daisy, but he loves what she represents in The Great Gatsby?

Used to reveal women as a temptress to Gatsby.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted April 16, 2010 at 11:11 AM (Answer #1)

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It was really exciting to read the previous answerers only after I had thought long and hard about the quote that I would have chosen.  Isn't it wonderful to have so many awesome opinions here on eNotes!?!  They made great choices, now let me share mine:

In Chapter 7 of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Nick and Gatsby have a very revealing conversation as they wait at the car for the rest of the company in order to "go to town" on this hot and sticky afternoon.  It begins by Nick making a random comment about Daisy's voice.  Nick simply says, "She's got an indiscreet voice. . . . It's full of--"  Ah, and what does Gatsby say?

Does Gatsby say that Daisy's voice is full of melody such as the song of an angel?

Does Gatsby say that Daisy's voice is full of love for him, as he knows that Daisy has loved him all her life?

Does Gatsby say that Daisy's voice is full of beauty, like soft flower petals blowing in a soft breeze?

No.

Gatsby says, "her voice is full of money." 

Full of love and romance, eh? 

No.  This is when the revelation of Gatsby's true feelings are revealed:  obsession.  Gatsby isn't in love with Daisy.  He is obsessed with Daisy.  He has been for years.  Daisy, a representation of the "old rich" has driven him to the point of madness.  Just look at the common ideas of love/romance that he has neglected to use here.  He has negated the language of love with the language of money.  Worse, he has tried to replicate that money in order to win her.  Sadly, one cannot replicate the "old money" of East Egg, so Gatsby had to settle for the more vulgar "new money" of West Egg.

So, to answer your question, the above quote by Gatsby is a perfect example of how our main character truly doesn't love Daisy, but loves what she represents:  "old money."  It is his obsession that drives him onward.  Ironically, Nick spends a considerable time after Gatsby's statement agreeing with him!  (Ha!)  This, yet again, proves that only someone not in love with Daisy would utter that statement.

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 10, 2010 at 8:32 AM (Answer #2)

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The pursuit of Daisy has been symbolized by that green light at the end of the dock for years.

"If it wasn't for the mist we could see your home across the bay," said Gatsby. "You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock."

That one little word always parallels his pursuit of her. You know how once you have something for a while, it isn't nearly as good as the longing or the thrill of the chase? Now by the end of chapter 5 wherein this quote has been retrieved from, he has her. The chase is over.

Moving on, Nick narrates:

Possibly it occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever.

This statement proves the above point. Let's keep watching:

Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.

Gatsby regards Daisy similarly to the object that represents her. There is no discussion here as to the relationship of love, but plenty about her existence as an object. This representation surely drew Gatsby in, although I'm not quite sure it's in the way you are looking for.

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 10, 2010 at 8:59 PM (Answer #3)

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The quotations might have been well provided in the previous post.  I would like to make the argument that the entire social setting that is displayed in the novel represents a sense of in-authenticity.  There is a certain surface fascination with all of the primary individuals in the novel that reflects love as something motivated by external representation than a spiritual merging and authentic experience of emotion.  Few in the novel display a substantive notion of love. Rather, it is predicated upon social and material progress, a sense of allure and physical representation as opposed to something internal and sincerely felt within the psyche.  Gatsby is certainly a party to this as he believes that his way of winning Daisy over is through the acquisition of social and material prosperity.  For her part, Daisy and her world of Tom and Jordan represents individuals who are not extremely influenced by authentic displays, but rather the "best party" or the most "juicy" piece of gossip.

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