Many argue that F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is an example of the "great American love story", but it is not. The Great Gatsby is not a tale about perfect love; it is a tale of love and lust corrupting individuals in their lives, and of an American dream that is never fulfilled. Throughout the story, we follow multiple relationships, but focus is on the single relationship between Gatsby and Daisy. This relationship, however, fails to fulfill many requirements that would make it a true love story, and thus, while some hardship is to be expected, this relationship encounters an excessive amount. To determine if The Great Gatsby is a "great American love story", it is necessary to examine what this ideal actually is, as well as how Gatsby and Daisy fit into the mold, and it quickly becomes apparent that they do not.
The "great American love story", is not something easily defined, determined, or put into a small box, but it does contain common components that allow us the best definition possible. It requires an undying love between two individuals, who are willing to give up their lives for the one they love. Sacrifices are willing to be made, and lives changed in the name of preserving "true love". In a true love story, the couple falls in love and spends a time in a whirlwind of emotions where nothing is able to pull them apart, and is then able to stay together through all hardship. In tragic love stories, it often happens that some part of this goes awry, and the lovers are incapable of a true relationship, but The Great Gatsby is not supposed to be tragic. Readers sometimes become distracted by the love aspects of the story instead of grasp...
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..., in truth, a perfect love story is not found in our world. The "great American love story" has difficulty existing in the reality of life, and The Great Gatsby reflects our lives, not our dreams.
Brucoli, Matthew J. Bruccoli. "Role Playing in The Great Gatsby. "http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/biography.html. October 18, 2002.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: Penguin Books, 1990.
Douglas, Ann. The Women of The Great Gatsby. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995.
Lewis, Roger. "Money, Love, and Aspiration in The Great Gatsby." New Essays on The Great Gatsby. Ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985. 41-57.
Trilling, Lionel. "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Critical Essays on Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby." Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston: Hall, 1984. 13-20.
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