False Love In The Great Gatsby Analysis

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In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F, Scott Fitzgerald, the false love the characters fill

their lives with does not lead to the happiness they are looking for. Some characters look to

fulfill themselves through an egotistical longing they mistakenly call love. Others try to share

their marital love with more than one person leaving them unable to fully give of themselves to

their spouse. All of the lies told about love leads everyone away from happiness and joy which

people were intended for and towards sorrow and despair. The novel is ultimately a quest for

happiness, and joy; a longing which is never fulfilled.

Gatsby looks to fulfill himself through an egotistical longing he mistakenly calls love.

Gatsby wants to marry Daisy
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Gatsby built his

empire so that he could become worthy of Daisy’s love, “He had deliberately given Daisy a

sense of security; he let her believe … he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact,

he had no such facilities – he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable

at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere in the world.” (Fitzgerald 149).

Gatsby felt completely unworthy of the love he was seeking to obtain from Daisy. Thus, Gatsby

was continually trying to improve himself so that he could be worthy of the love he wished to

receive from Daisy, “but now he found that he had committed himself to following the grail…He

felt married to her, that was all.”(149). Gatsby cannot accept the fact that he must allow Daisy to

move on with her life, and he must do the same. Gatsby had become so attached to Daisy that

when “he couldn’t possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was

clutching at some last hope and I couldn’t bear to shake him free” (148). All of Gatsby’s self-

advancement in society was so that he could make himself worthy of Daisy, an impossible

longing since Daisy is married to
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Daisy is emotionally pained when, Tom

says, “just tell him the truth – that you never loved him – and it’s all wiped out forever’ she

looked at him blindly. ‘Why – how could I love him – possibly?’ ‘You never loved him.’ She

hesitated… ‘I never loved him” (132). Daisy cannot bear deny her love for Gatsby, but she also

cannot leave her life with Tom, and the security her marriage brings her. Tom and Myrtle do the

same thing, leaving their spouses for each other, violating their marriage vows, and creating pain

for their families. Tom and Myrtle both try to escape their families, “neither of them can stand

the people they’re married to … If I was them I’d get a divorce and get married to each other

right away.’… ‘It’s his wife that’s keeping them apart. She’s a Catholic, and they don’t believe

in divorce” (33). They try to escape the fact that they have vowed to spend life with another

person. Tom actually expects daisy to still love him although he has left her for his lover,

Myrtle. He argued with Gatsby, “Daisy loved me when she married me and she loves

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