Is Gatsby in love with or obsessed with Daisy?

In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is more obsessed with Daisy than in love with her. As Nick points out, Daisy has become a "passion" for Gatsby, embellished "with every bright feather that drifted his way." Gatsby is in love with the idea he has built up of Daisy more than with Daisy herself.

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Gatsby is more obsessed with Daisy than in love with her, though he also loves her. As Nick observes when Gatsby reunites with Daisy after five years, Gatsby's dream of her "had gone beyond her, beyond everything." Nick describes the dream as "a creative passion" and explains that he was

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Gatsby is more obsessed with Daisy than in love with her, though he also loves her. As Nick observes when Gatsby reunites with Daisy after five years, Gatsby's dream of her "had gone beyond her, beyond everything." Nick describes the dream as "a creative passion" and explains that he was

adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.

Daisy is a woman Gatsby loves, but more importantly, she represents all he has longed for. She grew up with everything he did not, such as money and status. She never suffered the humiliation, for example, of having to work at college as a janitor on a charity scholarship. Everything about her spoke of the unconscious ease of always having had money available to supply her needs and wants. As Nick notes on the day of Gatsby's reunion with her,

There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion.

Jordan describes Daisy as the popular, vivacious girl everyone looked up to in high school. She wore her privilege as a natural, inborn right.

When Daisy falls in love—however temporarily or not—with Gatsby, it as if she has wiped away the stain of his childhood poverty and humiliation. He grows obsessed with being with her forever, not only because she represents his lost youth and innocence, but because he believes that through her, he can become complete: he can internalize her careless nonchalance about all the things he has had to struggle all his life to obtain.

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