How Lust Drove The Great Gatsby by Garrett Smith
Lust is any intense desire or craving for self gratification and excitement. Lust can mean strictly sexual lust, although it takes on many other forms. In The Great Gatsby, lust captivates the characters of the book. It transfigures into equally dangerous but different poisons; it becomes not only lust for sex but also lust for power and acceptance. Set in the 1920s, The Great Gatsby is a prime example of the new American dream. People begin to seek out pleasure and power, instead of individualism and happiness. Wealth is easy to come by and is used as a tool to obtain other desires. Lust makes its first appearance at the end of Chapter I, when Nick Carraway sees Jay Gatsby out on his lawn at night. “He was content to be alone 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. Involuntarily I glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away.” Gatsby was reaching towards something he could never have, but wanted so badly. He was reaching for Daisy, his first and only love, who married a rich and influential man by the name of Tom Buchanan, when Gatsby was off at war. Tom used his power and social standing to coerce Daisy into marrying him. Later on, Gatsby tries to do the same. Gatsby does everything in his power to get Daisy back. He acts heroically in times of war. He goes to Oxford and later, amasses a fortune to be used as a bargaining tool for Daisy‘s love. Then, he buys a magnificent mansion across the bay from Daisy, and throws eloquent parties, for the sole purpose of catching Daisy’s attention, and proving his social status. Eventually, he uses Nick to act as match-maker and set up a meeting between the two of them. After an awkward reunion, their love is re-kindled, and they begin a short affair. Both Daisy and Gatsby seek out this pleasure, with no regard for others. However, they are...
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