Honors American Literature and Composition
5 March 2018
Gatsby and Daisy: the Knight and his Lady Courtly love, a term thats origins stem from the Middle Ages, refers to the advocation of idealized but illicit love. Courtly love was an extremely popular code of conduct between lovers, particularly between a knight and his lady, in the 12th to the 14th century where a man had to win over the heart of a married woman with his advances. F. Scott Fitzgerald cultivates a strong theme of courtly love within The Great Gatsby. James Gatz, a young business man originating from a humble past, climbs the ladder of status and wealth to become a well-known, charming, exquisite party-thrower living in East Egg, with the sole …show more content…
In order for a humble knight to deserve his mistress, he must prove his cultivated bearings, and likewise Gatsby devotes himself to this endeavor. Culturing Gatsby in courteous mannerisms, Gatsby’s mentor Dan Cody fills “the vague contour of Jay Gatsby [with] the substantiality of a man” (102) and brings Gatsby a step closer to Daisy’s dignified status. Desperate to line up to Daisy’s standards, Gatsby takes every precaution necessary to ensure Daisy’s affections. Every check mark on the aristocratic list must be met for Gatsby: charm, money, and status. After Dan’s death, Gatsby enters himself into illegal business dealings with Meyer Wolfsheim, gaining a new token for success by “[buying] up a lot of side-street drug-stores [in New York] and in Chicago [to sell] grain alcohol over the counter” (135). Gatsby soon brews up an overflowing abundance of wealth, and seizes the opportunity to impress Daisy with his intriguing assets. Like a determined knight hoping to demonstrate both skill in battle and social standing, Gatsby flaunts his newly obtained wealth in the form of parties and extravagant materialism. The glamour of his displays eventually catches Daisy’s eye and Gatsby at last wins her over, proceeding to the events of their impassioned …show more content…
Love at first sight is a common occurrence amongst the stories of medieval chevaliers. The moment young Gatsby encounters Daisy, he “[finds] her excitingly desirable” and fancies her to be the “first ‘nice’ girl he has ever known” (150). Fluttering feelings of desire bubble up within Gatsby upon first glancing upon Daisy. A seemingly normal attraction between potential lovers buds between Gatsby and Daisy, until it develops into more of an infatuation. Within a month of their meeting, Gatsby already “[feels married] to her,” undoubtedly expressing a strong attachment to Daisy (151). Fascination and passionate desire sparks between the two lovers quickly. The theme of love at first sight flowing within the characteristics of courtly love appears within the undeniable strong emotion Gatsby feels for Daisy. Even after leaving for war, Gatsby’s persistent affections Daisy affect him so, that he “[waits] five years and [buys] a mansion where he [dispenses] starlight to casual moths” just to see her again (81). Gatsby laboriously makes himself the perfect potential romantic candidate, despite the ring on Daisy’s finger, in hopes of reviving the vivid memories of their short relationship. Daisy responds to his charm, and once again “[blossoms] for him like a flower” as they lose themselves in a passionate affair (113). As they sink into their forbidden relationship, Gatsby and Daisy closely
Courtly love is a fundamental metaphor of Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, and, therefore, the elusive Jay Gatsby plays out his role as a courtly lover throughout the novel. Gatsby’s abnormal situation with Daisy reflects the metaphor of courtly love. Many of the characteristics used to define courtly love are reflected in Gatsby’s actions. Every choice that he makes is an attempt to win Daisy’s love, however unworthy of it she proves to be. He and Daisy’s relationship reflects the way that knights had to prove that they were cultivated to win a woman, as well as abiding to the adulterous aspect of courtly love, and being an example of the many times the “white knight” dies for their love.
Initially, Gatsby stirs up sympathetic feelings because of his obsession with wealth. Ever since meeting Dan Cody, his fascination for wealth has increased dramatically. He even uses illegal unmoral methods to obtain hefty amounts of wealth to spend on buying a house with “ Marie Antoinette music-rooms, Restoration Salons, dressing rooms and poolrooms, and bath rooms with sunken baths.” (88) His wardrobe is just as sensational with “ shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine fennel.” (89) Gatsby buys such posh items to impress Daisy but to him, Daisy herself is a symbol of wealth. Jay remarks, “[Daisy’s] voice is full of money.” (115). For him, Daisy is the one who is “ High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden gir...
The Great Gatsby is an emotional tale of hope of love and “romantic readiness”(1.2) that is both admirable and meritorious .Yet, the question of Daisy ever being able to measure up to Gatsby’s expectations is one that reverberates throughout the course of the novel. Be that as it may, Daisy is never truly able to measure up to Gatsby’s expectations because the image of Daisy in Gatsby’s mind is entirely different from who she actually is. Even during his younger years, Gatsby had always had a vision of himself “as a son of God”(6.98) and that “he must be about his fathers business, the service of a vast, vulgar and meretricious beauty”(6.98). Gatsby’s desire for aristocracy, wealth, and luxury is exactly what drives him to pursue Daisy who embodies everything that that Gatsby desires and worked towards achieving. Therefore, Gatsby sees Daisy as the final piece to his puzzle in order realize his vision. Gatsby’s hyperbolized expectation of Daisy throws light on the notion if our dreams as individuals are actually limited by reality. Since our dreams as human beings are never truly realized, because they may be lacking a specific element. Daisy proves to be that element that lingers in Gatsby’s dreams but eludes his reality.
Gatsby’s distinct charisma indicates his struggle against moral corruption and sets him apart from the moral decay evident in the upper class. Owl eyes is very surprised when he finds out all the books in Gatsby’s library are real, “‘The books?...Absolutely real--have pages and everything...It’s a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella’s a regular Belasco’” (45). While most of the upper class uses outward displays of wealth to cover their inner moral corruption, Gatsby uses his extravagant opulence to mask his love for Daisy. In this way his morals and ability to conceal his love prove his willingness and drive to acquire Daisy’s love and acceptance. The majority of the upper class suffers from moral poverty, lacking internal morals to keep them grounded acting out in ways that diminishes their social status. Gatsby is so close to Daisy his whole life yet he is unable to get any closer until their relationship is destroyed forever. “I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock...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” (180). Gatsby continually reaches out for Daisy with hope and optimism, but the distance between his dock and the Buchanan’s does not get any closer symbolic for the
As a young man, Jay Gatsby was poor with nothing but his love for Daisy. He had attempted to woe her, but a stronger attraction to money led her to marry another man. This did not stop Gatsby’s goal of winning this woman for himself though, and he decided to improve his life anyway he could until he could measure up to Daisy’s standards. He eventually gained connections in what would seem to be the wrong places, but these gave him the opportunity he needed to "get rich quick." Gatsby’s enormous desire for Daisy controlled his life to the point that he did not even question the immorality of the dealings that he involved himself in to acquire wealth. Eventually though, he was able to afford a "castle" in a location where he could pursue Daisy effectively. His life ambition had successfully moved him to the top of the "new money" class of society, but he lacked the education of how to promote his wealth properly. Despite the way that Gatsby flaunted his money, he did catch Daisy’s attention. A chaotic affair followed for a while until Daisy was overcome by pressures from Gatsby to leave her husband and by the realization that she belonged to "old money" and a more proper society.
“...there’s a pattern of unrequited desire running through Gatsby. One person in every couple in the novel stretches out to grasp the other, who remains forever out of reach”(Corrigan 180). The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates through subtle yet powerful details in the writing that shows how different relationships between characters in the novel could be considered an unrequited love. Some relationships that demonstrate this include Jay Gatsby “reaching out” to Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson “reaching out” to Tom Buchanan. As the story unveils this idea out reaching out starts to occur more and more as Fitzgerald clearly tries to portray that the relationship between Tom
Jay Gatsby believes he can buy happiness. For example, Gatsby's house is “ A factual imitation of some Hotel De Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden” (The Great Gatsby 9). His house is nothing more than an perfect symbol of his vast income. Gatsby uses the house in an attempt to win happiness and respect from his peers. Furthermore, Gatsby also tries to impress others with such unimportant possessions as his clothing, as when Daisy emotionally comments, ”beautiful shirts… It makes me sad because I have never seen such beautiful shirts before”(98). Crying over articles of clothing is outrageous, yet it is not the shirts that overwhelm Daisy. Their symbolism of Gatsby’s unlimited wealth and faith in money is truly saddening. Also, Gatsby realizes that Daisy’s main and only concern in life is money. Gatsby pursues immoral and often illegal actions in pursuit of wealth, subconsciou...
Burning in the relentless inferno of his passions, Gatsby surrenders his life and ambitions for the purpose of his love in hopes to tame the insatiable flames. The twentieth century knight binds his honor to Daisy’s wellbeing and displays steadfast loyalty to his mistress. Gatsby acts with unwavering chivalry and sacrifice—perhaps it is in fact Gatsby’s ennobling dedication to this single lady that merits this contemporary courtly lover his label of greatness.
For five years, Gatsby was denied the one thing that he desired more than anything in the world: Daisy. While she was willing to wait for him until after the war, he did not want to return to her a poor man who would, in his eyes, be unworthy of her love. Gatsby did not want to force Daisy to choose between the comfortable lifestyle she was used to and his love. Before he would return to her, he was determined to make something of himself so that Daisy would not lose the affluence that she was accustomed to possessing. His desire for Daisy made Gatsby willing to do whatever was necessary to earn the money that would in turn lead to Daisy’s love, even if it meant participating in actions...
Jay Gatsby, a mysterious, young and very wealthy man, fatally chases an impossible dream. Gatsby attempts to rekindle an old relationship and has confidence in repeating the past. Gatsby claims that he is going to “fix everything just the way it was before” (Fitzgerald 117). In a a conversation with Nick, Gatsby discusses how the past can be repeated and how he wants the relationship that he once had with Daisy (Fitzgerald 116). Secondly, Gatsby attempts to exemplify his wealth through fancy cars and stylish clothing. Gatsby shows his clothing to Daisy and informs her that he has a “man in England” who buys his clothes every season (Fitzgerald 97). Illustrating his wealth, Gatsby drives a Rolls Royce that “was a rich cream color, bright with nickel” (Fitzgerald 68). Although Gatsby’s foolish quest of the American dream exemplifies a respectable aspiration, it ends in a tragic death that goes virtually unnoticed. A sharp contrast to the parties , the funeral was sparingly attended and “nobody came” (Fitzgerald 182). Following the ...
Gatsby started off as a poor man who has to struggle through life. The only nice clothes that he has is his army uniform, which Daisy, his girlfriend enjoys when he wears she thinks that he looks nice. Gatsby is in love with Daisy and she is in love with him but because he was so poor they cannot get married. To survive Gatsby has to join the army and when he goes to war Daisy marries Tom, a rich stockbroker from New York, who gives Daisy a life of luxury. The problem, unbeknown to Daisy is that he is cheating on her. When Gatsby returns from battle he notices that Daisy has married a rich man and after realizing that Daisy was after Tom’s money Gatsby figures that the only way to get her back is by becoming rich himself. Once Gatsby has his dream of being rich he makes it his goal in life…to fulfill the needs of Daisy and marry her. Although luring ones wife into marrying yourself is not polite, it does make Gatsby great because it takes a strong willed man to make a life goal and stick to it
The novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald is one which deals with theme of unrequited love. Jay Gatsby has spent the last five years attempting to find the person who he believes is the love of his life-Daisy Buchanan. However, Gatsby’s love is not received by Daisy, which leads the reader to question the motives for his love for her. Fitzgerald is able to achieve this through the use of certain literary techniques such as: themes, characterisation and symbolism. Through this Fitzgerald is able to convey a powerful message about the hurtful nature of love.
Gatsby has all the money yet he is not happy when he throws gigantic parties at his house. Daisy, the one he tried to lure in with his parties, never cared to show up. The love shown by Gatsby towards Daisy, “’I want to wait here till Daisy goes to bed. Good night, old sport.’ He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight – watching over nothing” (Fitzgerald 145).
When people hear the words “romantic hero,” they imagine one of those fake characters from cheesy love stories, holding roses while kneeling below the heroine`s balcony. Gatsby is no better than those fake and desperate heroes because his love is untrue and obsessive. James Gatz, who is also known as Jay Gatsby, is a poor young man who acquires wealth for the purpose of gaining the love of a rich girl named Daisy. Gatsby lives and breathes for Daisy, the “nice” girl he loves, even though she is married to Tom Buchanan. Gatsby`s love may sound dedicated, but it is more obsessive because he lives in his dreams and will literally do anything to win Daisy`s heart. In Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is not portrayed as being a romantic hero due to his attempts in trying to be someone he is not by faking his identity, by his selfish acts in desperation for Daisy`s love, and his fixation with wealth, proving that love is not the same as obsession.
Courtly love is defined as a medieval literary concept where love is idealized and often illicit. Usually, the participants are knights that devote themselves to serve a woman, usually of high class. It emphasizes courtesy, nobility and chivalry, it often involves knights going on adventures to serving ladies. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a great example