Love vs. Materialism in the Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 3 (1132 words) Published: October 10, 2012
Love Vs. Materialism
The Great Gatsby does not offer a definition of love, or a contrast between love and romance. Rather it suggests that what people believe to be love is normally only a dream. America in the 1920s was a country where moral values were slowly crumbling and Americans soon only had one dream and objective to achieve, success. Distorted love is one theme in the novel The Great Gatsby, present among all of the characters relationships; Daisy and Tom, Tom and Myrtle, Daisy and Gatsby, and Wilson and Myrtle, though Myrtle does not return the love. This distortion illustrates that it is not love that leads several characters to death, but lust and the materialistic possessions that really drive the characters to their lonely and depressing ends. Deceit and the materialistic possessions the characters indulge in are responsible for the death of several main characters in The Great Gatsby. Having been together before Gatsby left for war, a restoration of the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan occurs. Daisy appears to be happily married to Tom Buchanan, although she truly has only has love for his possessions. Gatsby has to go to great lengths to lure Daisy back to him. Gatsby plans huge, extravagant parties for the sole purpose of impressing Daisy through the means or materialistic possessions; Gatsby believes this is a way to ‘lure’ her back to him. Gatsby goes so far to even move into a house across from Daisy to keep her in sight; the love Gatsby feels for Daisy is in the past, Daisy’s love for Gatsby has changed over time. She now only loves him for his possessions. One example of a failed relationship in The Great Gatsby is the disloyal affair between Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson. Their relationship is based on deceit and exploitation, Tom uses Myrtle for sex and pure pleasure and in return Tom adores her and showers her with gifts and money. Buchanan is from East egg where everyone there has ‘old money’ therefore; he looks down...
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