True Love

The Great Gatsby: Obsession or True Love?

The meaning of true Love has been questioned and caused controversy in comparison with Gatsby’s story. Many people question whether Gatsby was truly in love with Daisy or demonstrated more of an obsession. Evaluations and analysis of true love have become a debated issue especially in The Great Gatsby. Throughout the book we see how and what Gatsby does to get what he wants, which indeed is Daisy. He goes through both good and bad risking himself and various values to achieve his dream. Although, risking and doing anything for a significant other may not be true love if the other doesn’t mutually do the same. In this case, since Gatsby exerts more love into the relationship it appears more like an obsession, rather than love being that he doesn’t receive the same amount of love in return. Gatsby risks a series of values like time, failure, and disappointment all to reach that dream. It’s inevitable that he loved Daisy, but there are certain extents and factors to determine whether it was true love or more of an obsession to the past. Overall, there are many factors demonstrating Gatsby’s excessive love and obsession to Daisy including neurotic remembrance of the past.

We all reach for the dreams in front of us. Gatsby had a dream, which unfortunately was no longer in front of him, but far behind. Gatsby was stuck in the past and so was his dream.It’s unfortunate to realize that Gatsby reached for a dream behind him all along, almost impossible to achieve. Throughout all the book Gatsby risks disappointment, time, and failure to chase that dream. As Nick said, “He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him….” (Fitzgerald, 180). This showcases how Gatsby was stuck in the past all along, obsessed with the idea of pursuing true love.Gatsby’s desire for love increases into an obsession causing himself to become what he believes Daisy wants him to be.

Gatsby’s actions demonstrate his obsessive desire to achieve his dreams. For example, Gatsby’s parties mentioned aren’t like any other. Hundreds of people who may not know him attend. It’s unprecedented to know that Gatsby created these parties to grasp his dream. For years these parties continued, while Gatsby waited and hoped for the day that he’d finally reacquire his past with Daisy. The risk he takes and time he dedicates is obsessive. Gatsby shows his craze of the past, which is not true love. In addition, true love isn’t achieved with money, which seems to be the case in the Great Gatsby. Gatsby allows money to demonstrate how much he cares and will risk achieving his dream with Daisy. He also seems to be in love with the idea of true love rather than pursuing that dream. In the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “She had caught a cold and it made her voice huskier and more charming than ever and Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.” As expressed by this quote Gatsby seems to be in love with Daisy’s life including her house. True love is not demonstrated. This is another example of a false sense of love since Gatsby tries to be something he’s not to satisfy Daisy. Overall, we all come and go, but life continues to be the same, and the past does not change.

Love requires deep affection for someone, but over time this affection can diminish. The past can’t be brought back, and that’s Gatsby’s dilemma. The past is always behind us, and in Gatsby’s case he excessively tries to bring it back. Gatsby seems to fail to recognize that true love can change. He may believe Daisy and his bond is mutual, when really it isn’t deeply connected. The amount of love from both in the relationship is not balanced. Gatsby is obsessed with the past, which leads to the controversial topic of true love. A one -sided relationship is not true love and neither is viewing Daisy as a prize or conquest. In addition, the day of Myrtle's death, Gatsby waited outside of Daisy’s house. He was worried for her after even knowing the fact that she killed someone. He was even obsessive enough to take the blame for her all to protect her. As said by Gatsby, “Was Daisy driving? Yes, he said after a moment, but of course I’ll say I was” (Fitzgerald, 137). Being outside for hours just watching her house seems very obsession as well as taking the blame for a crime he didn’t commit. In some cases, Gatsby even bought a house close to Daisy which is obsessive. “It was a strange coincidence” I said, “But it wasn’t a coincidence at all” “Why not?”, “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would just be across the bay” (Fitzgerald, 76).This shows his excessive need to be with her to rewind to the past. Gatsby shows obsessive behavior, rather than showing an act of true love.

Many others have different perspectives on whether Gatsby is demonstrating true love or obsession to achieve his dreams. Being that Gatsby is a dreamer he goes to extremes to turn back the clock and experience his past once more. As informed by Kelly Marsh, Gatsby is spending his life trying to be as rich as possible just to achieve his dream. This is not true love, but rather obsession to become someone he is not just to achieve his dream relationship with Daisy. Being that Gatsby was not always rich and completely tried to fit Daisy’s ideals is obsessive. In addition, as said by Nick in the book, “There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion” (Fitzgerald).This goes to show that Gatsby might have had some type of love, but not true love, instead it was more like an illusion or ideal of a relationship. He seems to be naïve and not accept the reality that the past cant be brought back and his dream for an ideal relationship is impractical.

In Conclusion Gatsby may love Daisy, but he doesn’t demonstrate true love; instead he demonstrates a more possessive and obsessive love. Going to the extremes to bring back the past is not true love. The past can’t be brought back, and neither can love stay the same over time. Gatsby remains blinded for this ideal dream he plans to gain and relive. This irretrievable past causes Gatsby to risk values in an extreme matter. Overall being that he goes to extremes, making parties, becoming someone, he’s not, and taking blame for others actions, demonstrates his obsession to bring back the past and regain his dream.


Marsh, Kelly. “Gatsby-In Love, or Obsessed?”, 9 May 2014,

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Penguin Books, 1950.