Fear of Intimacy in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Essay

Fear of Intimacy in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Essay

Length: 875 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Relationships, specifically romantic relationships, play a very important part in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Upon reading Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, one will notice that there appears to be a behavioral pattern present in the relationships between Gatsby and Daisy, Daisy and Tom, and Nick and Jordan. As I explain in this paper, these relationships suffer from a fear of intimacy, a fear of the inevitable mutual emotional pain that occurs when humans grow close to one another. In the interest of clarity, let us first take a closer look at the theory that humans cannot grow close without harming one another, the theory known as the “hedgehog’s dilemma.”
The concept of the hedgehog’s dilemma was first introduced by German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer proposed the idea that human intimacy works in the same way hedgehogs huddle together for warmth, the closer they get to one another the more they hurt one another. While the hedgehogs physically harm each other with their quills due to their close physical proximity, humans hurt each other emotionally once they reach a certain degree of emotional closeness. Because of our fear of emotional devastation, we often develop a fear of intimacy. Schopenhauer’s theory achieved even wider exposure after Sigmund Freud introduced it into the study of psychology in the early 1900s, giving it the name it is now commonly known by.
The marriage of Tom and Daisy Buchanan is arguably the most tumultuous relationship within the novel. Tom spends his time with two different women, both his wife Daisy and a mistress by the name of Myrtle Wilson. Tom’s division of time between the two allows him to refrain from reaching any significant level of emotional intimacy with either w...

... middle of paper ...

...t least “half in love with her” (177). Nick actions during and after he and Jordan’s separation suggest that he is trying to repress and avoid memories of her that might harm him. He claims to not “know which of us hung up with a sharp click, but [he] knows [that he] didn’t care” after the phone call that officially ends their relationship, and later during an in-person conversation with Jordan, “talked over and around what had happened to us together” (155, 177). Of all the characters in the novel, it is possible that Jordan Baker is the only one to directly address the fear that plagues them all. It certainly like that is what she is implying in her last conversation with Nick, stating: “You said a bad driver was only safe until she met a bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn’t I?” the bad drivers, in this case, being those with a fear of intimacy (177).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Profound Narrative Point of View in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby" and Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”

- In the popular literary works of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Franz Kafka’s novella “The Metamorphosis,” we are given examples of the importance of a profound narrative point of view in creating an integral depth to the author’s story and enchanting its characters. Through key placement of well-rounded characters, both works of art succeed in creating a perfect narrative point of view which illuminates their stories in emotionally moving ways. The Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway, plays the role of a secondary character in most of the novel....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby, Franz Kafka, Me]

Better Essays
1173 words (3.4 pages)

Nick’s Implied Feelings for Gatsby Essay

- The Great Gatsby is a story set in the 1920’s, also known as the jazz age. It was published in 1925. In the 1920’s, new things were happening: women were becoming more liberated, there were many parties, and dating was more casual. The author Fitzgerald was also familiar with homosexuality even though it was illegal during that time (Froehlich; Heying). In the novel, Nick tells the story of a man named Gatsby, who was in love with his neighbor, Daisy. One of The Great Gatsby’s themes is love. In The Great Gatsby the author F....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jazz Age]

Better Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

Courtly Love in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... Her court centered on this new model of romance, a deviation from marriage’s political nature and Aristotelian forms of love. Feudal Europe thus adopted courtly love as an ideal for true love, though not as an ideal for matrimony; indeed, courtly love almost always involved an adulterous aspect. An offended Catholic Church scorned this newly instated social system, but such scandalous love persisted. By the mid-fourteenth century, courtly love became an accustomed behavior. The heart of courtly love grew to demand a knight’s complete obedience to his mistress under his honor and courtesy, by means of taxing ordeals to prove his enduring commitment to her....   [tags: Wealth, Chivalry]

Better Essays
1095 words (3.1 pages)

Corrupting the American Dream in The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- In the novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author establishes materialism and wealth as a corruption to the American dream. The American dream embodies the idea of self-sufficient, honest and intelligent individual with a happy successful life. It is also the idea of the pursuit of happiness but Daisy Buchanan a wealthy aristocrat goes after the empty pursuit of pleasure, portraying her character as a disillusionment of the American dream and how much it lost its good values. The wealthy are blinded by all their money, such as the Buchanan’s who forget the real idea of the American dream leading them to having no morals or values....   [tags: wealth, selfish, values]

Better Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

Symbols Used in the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... Examples include money, fame, popularity, materials, and certain people. Overall, these things will eventually lead to corruption and ultimately death. Daisy within herself is false purity. She often wore arresting white dresses, Fitzgerald did this to show her decadence. A few examples include page 8, “An enormous couch on which two young women (Daisy and Jordan) were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white.” Another example is on page 115, “Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols weighing down their own white dresses against the singing breeze of the fans.” Later in this particular scene, Daisy confesses her love for Gatsby to Tom bu...   [tags: green, false purity]

Better Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- In life most people have some type of obstacle or problem in the way of their path. Just like F. Scott Fitzgerald who had many issues dealing with alcohol and other problems throughout the course of his life. Some of these obstacles were difficult to deal with, so F. Scott Fitzgerald found inspiration through his wife Zelda Sayre, who was reason behind many books. As proof by his willingness to his wife and dedication to his work, leads to conclude F. Scott Fitzgerald was ambitious and goal driven by not only outer surroundings but his ever so important American Dream....   [tags: Biography, Literature]

Better Essays
1431 words (4.1 pages)

Zelda Fitzgerald and the French Aviator Essay

- Zelda Fitzgerald and the French Aviator In an attempt to improve their deteriorating marriage, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald made the decision in 1924 to relocate to Europe. Soon after their arrival in the French Riviera, Scott began working feverishly on what would be The Great Gatsby, leaving him little time for family bonding. Servants tended to their only daughter, Scottie, and Zelda, with few other responsibilities, spent her days sunbathing, swimming, and playing tennis. At least this was the case up until she became acquainted with a young French aviator....   [tags: Fitzgerald Biography Essays]

Better Essays
897 words (2.6 pages)

The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby Essay

- The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby      Titling is a very important part of the fiction-writing process. It is important for authors to be careful in choosing their titles because the titles often can have great influence on certain aspects of the story. In the book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the title was formulated with the intention of heightening characterization through the use of irony. When readers start to read this novel, they immediately see a man who seems very glamorous and powerful while they have already been predisposed to seeing him in an alluring light due to the book's title....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Better Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - The Up-Roaring Twenties

- The Great Gatsby: The Up-Roaring Twenties The 1920s in America were a decade of great social change.  From fashion to politics, forces clashed to produce a very ^Roaring^ decade.  Jazz sounds dominated the music industry.  It was the age of prohibition, the age of prosperity, and the age of downfall.  It was the age of everything, and this can be witnessed through the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.  The Roaring Twenties help create Gatsby's character.  Gatsby's participation in the bootlegging business, the extravagant parties he throws, and the wealthy, careless lifestyle the Buchanans represent are all vivid pictures of that time frame.  It turns out, alth...   [tags: free essay writer]

Free Essays
640 words (1.8 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essay

- Crossing the porch where we had dined that June night three months before, I came to a small rectangle of light which I guessed was the pantry window. The blind was drawn, but I found a rift at the sill. Tom and Daisy were sitting across one another at the kitchen table. They were engaged in a conversation. Tom was talking intently across the table to Daisy with his hand covering her own, as she stared at the cold chicken that lay on the table. “Daisy, are you okay?” Tom asked her in a gentle tone....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)