What evidence is there to support the notion that Gatsby loved an ideal rather than the actual person of Daisy?Gatsby professes to love Daisy, but some might say he was more in love with the idea...

What evidence is there to support the notion that Gatsby loved an ideal rather than the actual person of Daisy?

Gatsby professes to love Daisy, but some might say he was more in love with the idea of Daisy.  Discuss.

Asked on by theosha

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

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I think that while Gatsby was probably capable of feeling and experiencing love, he did become more enamored with the idyll of love in his pursuit of Daisy.  There is much to indicate this throughout the novel, but the most compelling piece of evidence for this would be that there is little between both of them that could constitute a real and solid foundation for an authentic relationship.  Perhaps, this is something that Fitzgerald might be saying about the time period, in general.  Yet, the superficiality and opaque nature of emotional contact with all of the people in the social sphere depicted in the novel is one that precludes any real sense of understanding and true reciprocity of emotions.  Gatsby believes that he can "win" Daisy through elaborate parties and excessive spending of money.  The moment with the shirts would help to indicate this.  At some point, Daisy becomes a part of Gatsby's vision to not be Gatz, but rather part of the allure of Jay Gatsby.  In this light, Daisy is not seen as a person, but rather objectified as a thing or another accessory to completing Gatsby's own vision of self.

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