Romanticism In The Great Gatsby Analysis

867 WordsDec 1, 20174 Pages
At first glance, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby appears to be a tragic love story about Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. But upon closer examination, readers will see that their love wasn’t love at all; rather, it was an obsession on Gatsby’s part. He had built up Daisy as he’d remembered her, negligent of the fact that they had both grown and she had changed. Gatsby hadn’t been in love with Daisy, but the idea of Daisy. However, Gatsby isn’t the only one guilty of romanticism. The book’s seemingly reliable narrator, Nick Carraway, is just as culpable as the title character when it comes to idealizing someone beyond their true nature. In his case, the target of his idealism is none other than Jay Gatsby. Nick’s romanticism of the…show more content…
In the beginning of the chapter, he tries to win Nick’s favor, offering him a trip to Covey Island and, when he declines, to “take a plunge in the swimming-pool” together (82). During Daisy and Gatsby’s reunion, Nick acts as a third wheel toward the pair. He’s cast aside, but Gatsby refuses to let him leave because “[his] presence made them feel more satisfactorily alone” (94). Though Gatsby does show some genuine affection towards Nick, it’s mostly to earn his kindness and better use him for his own purposes. From Nick’s perspective, he and Gatsby are great friends - and to a certain extent, that is true. But in the end, it wasn’t necessarily Gatsby himself that attracted Nick, it was his incandescence, his dreams and aspirations; he was an enigma - a bright, sparkling enigma in Nick’s eyes. Throughout the book, Nick unconsciously denies this fact, allowing himself to believe that he and Gatsby are close friends. As a result, he continues hanging out with Gatsby, doing whatever he asks, and taking his side in conflicts - not always outright, but in subtle ways. Nick and Gatsby’s relationship becomes especially clear at the end of the novel. In life, Gatsby appeared to have it all - wealth, status, an innumerable amount of friends, judging by the attendance of his parties. But in death, he was no one.

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