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Pursuit of Daisy Buchanan in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”

Reasons Why The Pursuit of Daisy Buchanan Was Justified

“Great Gatsby” is a novel written by F.S. Fitzerald and published in 1925. The book follows the narrator as he enters the world of the American socialite after returning from war and meets the eponymous main character. Jay Gatsby gained his wealth relatively recently with the hopes of once again meeting his first love Daisy Buchanan, a now-married woman. Regardless of whether they read it or not, almost everyone knows that the book does not have a happy ending. Despite a brief affair, the story ends with Gatsby dying and Daisy coldly dismissing him and their relationship with one another. Due to the book being such a classic, many researchers have analyzed the different interpretations that arise when reading it. In particular, many individuals are interested in the answer to the question of whether Gatsby should have sought Daisy out in the first place. The purpose of this essay is to examine the reasons why this pursuit was justified.

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The Pursuit of Daisy Buchanan

Many readers argue that the pursuit of Daisy Buchanan was never going to result in a happy ending. These individuals perceive that Gatsby’s relationship with her was doomed from the start due to a myriad of reasons. Those can include the absence of feelings on Daisy’s part, her love for the luxuries provided by her marriage, and the main character’s penchant for resorting to illusions rather than reality. However, while these arguments are compelling, it is important to note several other interpretations of this relationship, especially considering that the readers do not get to see Daisy’s innermost thoughts.

Daisy’s Feelings Towards Gatsby

While they might have not been as strong as Gatsby’s, it is apparent that Daisy had romantic feelings towards the main character. However, in many ways, his interpretation of everything she went through and her relationship with her husband was undermining her affections. It is particularly apparent during the confrontation between Gatsby, Daisy, and her husband when she is prompted to admit that she never loved her spouse. The character then cries “I did love him once—but I loved you too” (Fitzerald 2004, cxvii). Gatsby hopes for a perfect love story where they are each other’s first and only love. However, the reality of the situation is different and Daisy cannot provide this fairytale. It is fair to assume that she was additionally not inclined to fight for Gatsby due to fear of losing her standing. However, the main character’s desire for his own version of their story, one that diminishes Daisy’s life experiences that she was upfront and honest about could not have helped the situation. Perhaps, if the lovers had more time and a desire to discuss their respective standings on Daisy’s past, the story would have had a happy ending.

Gatsby’s Happiness

The readers with a picture of wealthy young attractive individuals who, one would expect, can enjoy life to the fullest. However, the author is quick to thwart those expectations by showing that most of the characters are deeply unhappy. Apart from the narrator, a notable exception is Gatsby himself who seems to enjoy himself for large portions of himself. The reason for his happiness is the fact that unlike everyone else, he is moving towards a goal. The author points out that his reveries of a life with Daisy “were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality” (Fitzerald 2004, cvi). Even if Gatsby’s pursuit of his first love did not result in happy ending, for a long time it provided him with a purpose in life. For this reason, his longing and fight for Daisy were justified as it made him happy amongst the widely unhappy socialite.


Many readers believe that Gatsby would have lived a long and happy life if he had not pursued Daisy. However, this interpretation undermines the characters’ relationship’s potential to be a healthy and loving one. Additionally, it is important to note that it is very likely that Gatsby would not have achieved even a semblance of happiness if it were not for his feelings towards Daisy.

Reference List

Fitzerald, Francis Scott. 2004. The Great Gatsby. New York: Schribner.

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