AP Literature and Composition
January 31, 2014
The Nature of Romantic Love In The Great Gatsby: Obsession, Self-Destruction, and Greed
The Great Gatsby is a story about a man, Gatsby, who is stuck in alternate reality. He is stuck in a past life and wants to remain in it forever. The Great Gatsby reflects a story about the great American dream and, as some may view, a beautiful love story. The Great Gatsby is not a story about perfect love. In fact, it actually mocks the notion that love having no flaws. Fitzgerald writes about the corruption of love and illustrates the obstacles and dangers of corrupted love. The “love” presented in The Great Gatsby is unethical. Fitzgerald depicts the nature of love in the novel to revolve around obsession, self-destruction, and greed. The Great Gatsby lacks true love and affection to make it a perfect love story. Gatsby is a character with an unrealistic conscience. He is blinded by an idea of love that only he can see. The love he sees is not true love, but in fact an obsession with lust. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who studies human behavior states in “The Brain In Love”, “Romantic love is an addiction...a perfectly horrible addiction when it’s going poorly. And indeed it has all the characteristics of an addiction. You focus on the person, you obsessively think about them, you crave them.” This quote taken from a TED Talk portrays Gatsby’s nature of love perfectly. He is addicted to the idea of Daisy. The addiction is horrible because all he does is focus on her and only her. Even though he has not spoken to her in years after the war, he still craves her. It is very clear that Fitzgerald wanted the audience to notice Gatsby’s frightening obsession with Daisy. He follows her every move. He becomes rich for her and buys a mansion for he and holds countless outrageous parties, all because of her. Gatsby says, “Look at this. Here is a lot of clippings-about you” (Fitzgerald 90). Gatsby...
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