Great Gatsby: Love and Relationships
It was included in a school program as a piece of American classical literature.
But what made it so special and evoked interest in so many readers? The book was filmed several times and is associated with the American dream, or it is better to say with a warning from the American dream. So, it is high time to look closer at the main character and try to understand his relations with others and why many people wanted to be like the Great Gatsby.
The Great Gatsby: Main Characters
Although the book is named after the main character, he is not the only hero of the book. But he is an incarnation of the 20th of the previous century. In the post-war period, the time of economic prosperity, jazz, and gangs, Jay Gatsby was a typical representative of the elite with some hidden facts in his biography but still interesting to the surrounding public.
A young and rich man, Jay Gatsby, who lives in a luxurious house, is popular among young ladies and seems to do nothing except for having parties. It was a dream life of an average resident of West Egg, where the events were set. Jay’s past was covered in mystery since nobody knew how he could be so rich in his 30’s. So, it evoked suspicions that all his wealth was dishonestly acquired. One more thing stirred up their interest in Jay Gatsby ― the absence of a beautiful lady near him in such a carefree and glamorous life.
Another important figure in the novel is Nick Carraway, the story’s narrator. From his biography, we also know that he is from a wealthy family, is a veteran of World War I, and now rents a house in a West Egg near Jay Gatsby. In addition, he is a cousin of one more character in the novel, Daisy Buchanan.
The novel starts with a scene when Nick visits Daisy and her husband, Tom Buchanan, who live on another side of the river. As it turned out later, Jay knew Daisy quite well and was in love with her, even though she was married.
First, it seems that Tom and Daisy have a happy and prosperous marriage since they live in a good district, and Tom seems to have a good job. Nick and Tom are friends from Yale university, and after graduation, Tom married Nick’s cousin Daisy, so they kept in contact.
Main events happen around these characters where we can trace friendship, love, and betrayal. At first, not all the characters know each other, but later, they meet.
Other Supporting Characters in the Great Gatsby
Except for the main characters, there are supporting ones who played not the last role in the relationship of Tom and Daisy and Jay and Daisy.
One is Myrtle Wilson, a secret lover of Tom Buchanan and wife of George Wilson, an owner of a run-down garage in a Valley of Ashes. In the beginning, he only sometimes appears in the novel. Still, he played a tragic role in the life of Jay Gatsby ― he killed him.
When driving with Tom, Nick and Jordan, a good friend of Daisy, have a brief love affair with Nick. One evening, they noticed a Gatsby car near the road. They realized that it crashed into Myrtle. That day, Daisy was driving, but Gatsby decided to take the blame. But Tom convinced George that Gatsby and Myrtle were lovers, and he killed her. So, George comes to Gatsby and kills him and himself.
After such tragic events, Nick buries Great Gatsby, breaks relations with Jordan, and moves to the west to be far from such people who are in a rush for the American dream.
The Great Gatsby: Connections between Characters
In the beginning, there are several parallels between characters who are not acquainted and have no relations with each other. But later, we understand that every meeting and relationship is not accidental, and some are well planned. So, let’s have a closer look at each connection between characters.
Marriage of Tom and Daisy Buchanan
Both represent wealthy families and live in a prestigious district in East Egg. But, first, they seem to be a happy family from the outside since their relations are not quite warm. In his free time, Tom visits his mistress Myrtle and attends parties. Moreover, he missed the birth of their first child and left Daisy alone in her postnatal depression. So, it is not strange that Daisy feels fed up with his behavior and hopes that their daughters will not have the same fate in the future.
However, Tom does not notice any abuse or offense in this attitude to his wife. Tom’s egoistic behavior may be noticed in his statement of loving both Daisy and Myrtle. And he does not see any problems in his love affairs. In addition, when speaking about family values, he does not do much to demonstrate his love and appreciation for his wife and children.
By lowering self-esteem of Dasie, Tom considers her to be uninteresting to other men and even does not assume that Dasie may have affairs with somebody else except for him.
Myrtle and George Wilson
Another married couple, Myrtle and Geoge Wilson, were married for 12 years, but the great experience of marital life was not a guarantee of strong and reliable relations. If to speak fairly, the marriage was programmed to fail from the very beginning. Actually, Myrtle Wilson overestimated his financial opportunities and, as a result, found herself in an old garage with a rude mechanic.
Since it was not acceptable to speak about divorce in the 1920s and Myrtle had no support from a wealthy family, she had nothing to do except stay in an unhappy marriage and look for joy and pleasure on the side.
So, starting a love affair with prosperous Tom Buchanan, Myrtle considers these relations an opportunity to change her life and get away from George and his old garage striving for a carefree and glamorous life with someone like Tom. However, Tom does not treat it like something serious with a bright future. For him, it’s just a way to relax and get new feelings.
Comparing two married couples, Scott Fitzgerald wants to contrast the relations of the rich and poor. Sometimes, we think that lack of financial stability negatively influences the relations causing conflicts and accusations like in the case of Myrtle and George Wilsons. But what about Tom and Daisy, who are wealthy enough to keep living together without worries about a prosperous future? But if there is no mutual love, there are no reliable and long-lasting marriage relationships.
Gatsby and Daisy
Gatsby’s love for Daisy is not traced from the first passages of the novel, but it became a reason for his moving to the West Egg just in front of Daisy’s house in the East Egg to watch the green lights of her home, from the windows of his luxurious house. Gatsby did not reveal his secret to anyone and did not follow Daisy since he knew about her marriage. Instead, he organized glamorous parties expecting to see her on the doorstep of his house.
Jordan knows Jay Gatsby’s and Daisy Buchanan’s love story and tells it to Nick. So, after Gatsby asks Nick to arrange a meeting with Daisy, they meet for the first time after separation in Nick’s house. After some hesitations, Daisy agrees to give a second chance at their relationship since Gatsby’s love for Daisy is still alive.
The true feelings of Jay Gatsby become clear when readers get to know their love story of the past. Now, the reader understands why these parties were organized and why there was nobody except the Maison of Great Gatsby and some servants. He was waiting for her, the love of his life. Perhaps, wealth and his status were tools for winning her heart for the second time. However, from his behavior, we may conclude that his feelings were stronger, and adores for Daisy was noticeable.
But what about Daisy, an emotionless woman who had a bright life and now seems overloaded with a household burden living with a husband who does not appreciate her? But at the same time, she would rather prefer a wealthy and stable life than select an unloyal man to be in love with.
It makes us believe that Gatsby’s achievements, houses, and wealth were to prove and demonstrate to Daisy that her preference for Tom was a mistake. Since Gatsby wants to return to the past and repeat his ideal relations, his life becomes an incarnation of the American Dream.
Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson
In contrast to the pure and strong feelings between Daisy and Gatsby, we may follow another type of relationship between two lovers, Tom and Myrtle. Myrtle seems blind, looking at their relations as a chance for a better future. She does not want to notice Tom’s attitude towards her and trace his rude behavior and even violence when, for instance, he breaks her nose because she teases him with his wife’s name. Nevertheless, Myrtle believes it is another type of love she is ready to accept.
But Tom Buchanan is too self-centered and self-confident to consider somebody’s feelings. So, their relationship is not more than just another love affair for him. He is not going to leave Daisy for Myrtle or anybody else.
Love and Betrayal in Great Gatsby
Starting reading the novel by Scott Fitzgerald, it may seem that its message is about strong willpower and the status of people living a luxurious life and doing business. But as often happens, a woman is a muse for a successful man’s big achievements. The topic of lifelong love may be traced to Gatsby’s love for Daisy and his actions. Being a successful man, he devotes his efforts to drawing attention and renovating theirs with previous feelings with Daisy.
But in the novel, we may also trace signs of betrayal in different relationships. The most vivid are relations between two married people who have children but not for big love, but too fond of something better for Myrtle and just to satisfy his self-confidence for Tom.
Daisy starts a new affair with Gatsby not because of passion or mutual feelings but to take revenge and prove that she is still interesting. After making Gatsby believe she loves him too, she returns to her husband. But the feelings of Great Gatsby are so strong that he is ready to accept punishment for the crime of his beloved. But what about Daisy? Does she feel guilty? No, the next sign of betrayal, she lets Gatsby take the blame for killing Myrtle in the car accident and leaves Gatsby to return to her husband.
Tom and Daisy betray their family, and the children still live together without shame and remorse. They feel comfortable, so feelings do not matter to them. Daisy does not even come to the funeral of those who devoted their lives to impress her and were ready to be imprisoned instead of her.
Another self-betrayal issue may be traced in the life story of Jay Gatsby. After his death, his father found a list of things Gatsby wanted to improve to become better. This list was written in his childhood, but he kept it throughout his life. But did he become better, just chasing for status to impress Daisy?
Evidence of Friendship
Friendship lines may be traced between Daisy and Jordan, Tom and Nick, and Nick and Jay. Female friendship seems like spending time together when Jordan has nothing to do. Since Daisy had children, she was not a passionate partygoer, so Jordan could come to her house just to talk.
Tom and Nick were classmates at Yale and had known each other from their teenage years. Their friendship is like a reminder to Tom about the past when he was a young sports star. Moreover, since Nick is Daisy’s cousin, they have to meet occasionally.
The relationship between Nick and Great Gatsby is hard to name friendship. They are neighbors and a way for Gatsby to get closer to Daisy. But, finally, when Gatsby is dead, the only person who decides to give the last tribute to Jay is Nick, who does not lose human traits despite all the facts.
What Is Important to Understand About the Great Gatsby Characters?
When reading Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald, we really understand that the novel is not an encouragement for the American Dream. It is rather a warning to avoid this aim. Instead of living a full life, a wealthy young man sticks to his teenage feelings and wishes to return to the past. For this reason, he tries to be not who he actually is in reality. However, money, status, and fame do not save him from loneliness and do not buy love. So, he stays without anything, even without life.
In other characters, we may notice another warning. No matter how rich you are, if there are normal relationships in the family, only betrayal and disrespect in your life are condemned to be in vain. Moreover, we may also observe a strive of all the characters to have a comfortable and wealthy existence, parties, and fun. Even marriage was based on financial prospects. So, the conclusion of Great Gatsby, the classical novel of American literature, is that you cannot buy happiness, friendship, or love for any money. Money does not rule the world if you are not lucky to have real friends or true love. No matter how rich you are, we all die the same, and only then can we see what place we take in people’s hearts.
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