Did Daisy and Gatsby love each other in The Great Gatsby?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although this is a fairly subjective question, there can be only one answer:  no.  Love is long-lasting, life giving, and a two-way street.  The feelings between Gatsby and Daisy have none of these qualities.

For Gatsby, it’s obsession.  For Daisy, it’s diversion.   

In regards to Gatsby, one only needs to observe him at first glance as he stretches his arms out over the bay (from West Egg to East Egg) towards Daisy’s green light to see the depth of his obsession.

He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling.

The man has lived his life through the war fixating on this nymph he dated for a fleeting moment before he went overseas.  When he returns, she is married, but he cannot nix the fixation he has cultivated over the years.  Daisy has become Gatsby’s complete obsession, so much so that he has descended into illegal business dealings in order to gain the obscene amount of money to buy a home in West Egg only to impress her.  It’s sad, really.

In regards to Daisy, even though her ears perk up at the first mention of Gatsby again after many years (“What Gatsby?”), he remains a diversion from her “safe” life of rich security that the violent Tom provides for her.  This diversion continues until she is forced (in the Plaza Hotel room) to say that she loved Gatsby when, under extreme diress, she says, "I did love him once--but I loved you too."  Gatsby gets it right when he replies, disgusted, “You loved me, TOO?” Love, through its very nature, doesn’t allow a second party to invade.  If another party does invade, it’s not love.  Just because Daisy says something, doesn’t mean the reader has to believe her.  

Heck, if this is love, who needs hate?!?

agentblank000 | Student

Gatsby loved Daisy, he was wiiling to take the blame for Myrtle's death although it was Daisy's fault. Daisy didn't love Gatsby, she was in love with his money. She didn't come to his funeral nor did she call. She didn't even send flowers. 

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The Great Gatsby

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