The Great Gatsby: Love

Shani Casey
Mind Map by Shani Casey, updated more than 1 year ago
Shani Casey
Created by Shani Casey almost 4 years ago
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Discussion on love in The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby: Love
1 Nick Carraway
1.1 Nick is 29 year old single man living in the 1920's. It was uncommon for man like Nick, middle class, wealthy and young to not be married. However despite Nick's many grievances with love he still romanticises Gatsby's and Daisy's relationship, despite being disapproving of Tom and Myrtle. This reinforces Nick's biased nature and his unreliablity as a narrator because he is condemning Tom and Myrtle's affair but being supportive of Gatsby's and Daisy's.
1.2 Nick has a twisted love towards Daisy, an infatuation/ adoration, which he also shares for Gatsby as well. Nick disagrees with all of Gatsby's decisions however he remains his loyal friend until the end when Gatsby dies. This brings in the platonic and a Philadelphia love (love for one's brother).
1.3 Nick has numerous relationships in the novel
2 Jay Gatsby
2.1 Bootlegger, Belasco, showman, magician, a circus act
2.2 Son of dirt poor farmers, helplessly and obsessively in love with Daisy, besotted with the American Dream
2.3 Gatsby's obsession with the American Dream is what kills him in the end: 'Gatsby turned out all right in the end, it was what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams.' Gatsby channels his infatuation with becoming wealthy through loving Daisy. He believes that if he can make her love him again he will be able to prove to everyone that he has been accepted into the society as wealthy man who lives independently. Gatsby's love is doomed from the start, his uniform hides his status from Daisy when they first meet and he puts on a intricate disguise so that she will fall in love with him. When he moves across the bay from her in West Egg he tells everyone that he works in the drug store business when he is in fact a bootlegger and does illegal dealings with Meyer Wolfshiem. Gatsby wants to rewind the clock as if the last five years haven't happened. In most romance literature there is a reference to wanting more time to be with one's lover.
3 Jordan Baker
3.1 Jordan is a free, independent, modest young woman who isn't interested in love and marriage of even relying on a man (some would day she is Daisy's opposite, Daisy being trapped by her marriage whereas Jordan has much more freedom and independence). Jordan is only shown to be interested romantically with Nick during the novel and even then she moves on quickly after they break up and becomes engaged. This presents to us that in fact women did men despite their grievances against it. Context: The 19th amendment was passed in 1919 which gave women the power to vote in elections. This was a huge step towards equality of the genders and this is why the 1920's was a much better decade for women because the vote had given them more freedom and reliablity.
4 Daisy Buchanan
4.1 Beautiful
4.1.1 'innocent'
4.1.2 Manipulative
4.1.3 Delicate
4.1.4 Cold-hearted
5 Tom Buchanan
5.1 Tom Buchanan is an adulterous, wealthy, and racist man who believes he can act the way he wants because in a way he has achieved the ultimate American Dream and because he has more power than everyone else. He punches Myrtle, his mistress, when she speaks out of line because he views her as beneath him in status. However he treats Daisy with fragility and care, buying her an expensive house, giving her a daughter and even marrying her. If we take the symbols of Myrtle's small apartment and Daisy's huge mansion we can see that Tom has clearly bought the apartment for sexual relations with Myrtle, whereas he has bought the house for Daisy to show his loyality and how they will raise their daughter, Pammy, in a stable environment. (Though of course Tom isn't loyal towards Daisy at all because he has numerous affairs on her.) Tom views Myrtle as a sexual object, a play toy, in a similar way in which Daisy views Gatsby as someone who will show her love and affection when Tom doesn't.
5.2 Wealthy
5.3 Disloyal
6 Myrtle Wilson
6.1 Myrtle is having an adulterous affair with Tom Buchanan. She claims that she is in love with him and she is attempting to build a stable home with him (e.g. the small apartment and the dog. The dog represents loyality and how Myrtle wants to make their relationship more serious and important because normally you don't have a pet together unless you are in a serious relationship). Myrtle dreams of living the wealthy lifestyle which Tom leads and when they are together she falls into this fake persona where she yells at servants and says nasty things about her lowly husband:'He wasn't fit to lick my shoe.' Despite Myrtle's confidence when she is with Tom she forgets her real status and pretends to be something she's not. This makes us questions whether Myrtle actually does love Tom or is she just desperate to escape her horrid and poor life?
6.2 Married to George Wilson
6.3 Has a sister named Catherine: Bond between siblings - love
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