"Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of one's actions or beliefs. It is a concept comparable to true love, a term which is more frequently used to describe love between lovers." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_love)That definition of unconditional love here tells us that true love is to love a person regardless of race, size, actions, beliefs, etc. I would like to add my own understanding of love to this definition mainly because I think it would amplify it more. True/Unconditional love is when one is willing to die for another, much like a mother and her son, or God for us. This I think is the true meaning of love and therefore we will soon see how prevalent this theme turns out to be in The Great Gatsby.
Jay Gatsby, legally known at James Gatz was not always rich. He started off really slowly in life due to a poor family background, where he would roam the streets and beaches trying to look for money/food. "It was James Gatz who had been loafing along the beach that afternoon in a torn green jersey and a pair of canvas pants..." (Fitzgerald 91 1992) shows that Gatsby was clearly not well of in life.
Daisy on the other hand, was a rich girl who Gatsby met in 1917 and they had a mutual love for each other, "The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime..." (Fitzgerald 73 1992). From this quote we see Jordan Baker talking about how the officer, Jay Gatsby, and Daisy loved each other dearly. When going off to war, Jay Gatsby told Daisy to wait for him, and that when he came back they would wed each other.
This is where the frustrating part about Daisy comes in. After the war on Gatsby's return to America, he got caught up in Oxford for a while and despite sending letters to Daisy saying to wait a little longer, she went along and married another army man, named Tom Buchanan. This tore Gatsby to pieces when he finally returned to America, he spent all his money staying in hotels, searching for Daisy, his lost love.
Now that a brief little intro is done, I can finally show the power of Gatsby's unconditional love for Daisy. "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay." (Fitzgerald 75 1992). This is the first instance where we can see how drowned in love Gatsby is, he bought a mansion, worth in the millions, only because Daisy lived across the bay. Gatsby didn't really care how much it cost him, but to have that hope of Daisy seeing one of his parties and coming to it, and them finally meeting and picking up where they left of, was priceless to him. This shows that his unconditional love for Daisy went to the heights of buying a mansion and throwing parties almost every day JUST so there was a chance of stumbling into her.
Jay Gatsby waited almost a decade (10 years), just searching and waiting for Daisy, while he could have had literally hundreds of affairs or found a lady to marry, but he stayed true and persevered to get Daisy back. Now if this isn't true, unconditional love for a woman, surely there is no such thing as love. There was also an instance in the novel where Daisy and Gatsby were talking about love and marriage and Daisy exclaimed that a rich girl like her could never marry a poor man like Gatsby. Now Gatsby was hurt by this, much like any other human being, but it didn't hinder him one bit. In fact this gave him all the more energy to become rich and successful (I use that term loosely in his case). After Tom Buchanan was feeling threatened by the meetings of Gatsby and Daisy, he hired a detective to snoop on Gatsby's business, "He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter." (Fitzgerald 118 1992). This quote shows that Gatsby earned all his riches through illegal ways. Yes, this is very unethical and morally wrong, but Gatsby needs credit for this. He knew that in order to win Daisy back he would need to get rich. Gatsby knew he had no chance in making that much money going legit, so instead he chose the fastest way possible in order to reach the end goal: Get rich for Daisy. Gatsby went to the "dark side" or joined and illegal business in order to win back Daisy's love. Love at its finest? I think so...
Finally I just want to point out how my personal definition of true love is when a person is willing to die for their love applies to The Great Gatsby so well. The incident that included Myrtle Wilson's death will show that Gatsby in fact has an unconditional and true love toward Daisy.
"Was Daisy driving?"This was after Myrtle Wilson had been killed by a yellowish car, it was a hit and run. Nick had a hunch who it might have been, because he knew of only one person with a huge yellow car, Gatsby. When Nick confronted Gatsby this is what Gatsby told him. Daisy had been driving and ran over Myrtle but got scared and drove off. Despite Daisy's crime, Gatsby wants to protect her so much that he is ready to take the blame. This shows how much Gatsby loves her, but isn't the climax. Gatsby keeping quiet as to who ran over Myrtle lead to George Wilson figuring out who's car it was, and this eventually lead to him killing Gatsby and committing suicide right after. Now, if Gatsby were to come clear and confess who actually ran over Myrtle, he would not have died. Therefore, in a way Gatsby died for Daisy's mistake and carelessness. In other words, he died for Daisy because if he confessed that Daisy was driving, I am sure that she would have been the victim of George Wilson's gun.
"Yes," he said after a moment, "but of course i'll say I was."
(Fitzgerald 126 1992)
This is pretty much my theme, why I picked it, and the reasoning behind doing so. Continue exploring my blog at Pictures - A thousand words? Please feel free to comment. Constructive criticism is appreciated.