Love is an important theme in The Great Gatsby. It is Gatsby's love for Daisy that drives him to gain his extraordinary wealth. It is also the reason he hosts his famous parties every single weekend, desperately hoping that Daisy will come along to one of them.

The novel suggests that Gatsby is a fool to love Daisy (or rather his idealized image of her) so completely, however admirable his emotions might be, since it causes his downfall in the end.

However, Gatsby is the only character in the novel who shows real love for someone else; Daisy and Tom can perhaps feel affectionately towards other people, but they never show any really deep emotions. Even Nick, the likeable narrator, finds no real love in his relationships with people - which can be seen directly through his brief relationship with Jordan Baker. He says of her, “I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity” (p. 58).

There is also another form of love which drives the plot; the love of an easy life, social status and material possessions. In the end, Daisy chooses her easy, upper class life with Tom rather than a new life with Gatsby. Gatsby, on the other hand, finds that his material possessions become insignificant when Daisy comes into his life.

“He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real” (p. 88).

While Gatsby finds his possessions become less important in Daisy's presence, Daisy can only understand Gatsby through his possessions, bursting into tears when she sees his tailor-made shirts.


The Great Gatsby is also deeply concerned with the theme of death. In the novel it is moments of death which reveal characters as t...

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