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The Role of Love and Women in Great Gatsby and the Sun Also Rises


Love is inextricably linked to women in both Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby” and Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” so much so that a serious discussion of one cannot be complete without the other. Daisy Buchanan and Brett in both books respectively are the agents that symbolize love, or the absence of it. The similarities and differences are seen in the way the two authors tackle the issue of love.

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How Brett and Daisy Compliment Each Other

Daisy and Brett are shown to be careless individuals. For instance, whenever Tom and Daisy mess up things, their carelessness as individuals is depicted when they retreat back into their careless selves and their wealth, or anything that keep them together. They then let other people clean up the mess. Many of the things done by Daisy, particularly the accident involving Myrtle which she blames on Gatsby, are also evidence to this. She is wrapped up in herself most of the time, partly because of the fact that she has been spoiled throughout her life. Born in an extremely rich family, she had a never-ending collection of men who continued to spoil her. Her irresponsibility is thus revealed very early in the text when she snaps the candles out with her fingers. When it hurts, she blames it on her innocent husband, saying, “you did it Tom…I know you did not mean mean to do it, but you in deed do it. That’s what get you get when you marry a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen of a—-‘’ (Fitzgerald, 9). The beauty of Daisy was so striking. She has a face so lovely yet so sad, full of bright substance, and the bright lovely eyes and mouth. Yet whenever she speaks there is always an excitement in it, making all the men who know her find it very hard to get her out of their mind. So she thinks only of herself regardless of all the people she may hurt in the process just like Brett, who like Jake Barnes, also has no bearing in life and only finds meaninglessness in things that she would normally have enjoyed before the war.

Painted as hard to pin down and immorally loose by Hemingway, Brett is the object of hungry desire for the majority of male characters in the book. On the other hand, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby shows Daisy Buchanan as a trapped lady. She is ensnared in an unhappy marriage and in a world where freedom and independence are absent for her. As an adolescent girl in Louisville, Daisy was tremendously liked and admired by the military personnel stationed close to her home, among them Jay Gatsby. Gatsby claimed he was from a rich family, which was a lie, to prove to her that he was worth her love.

The Different Outlook by the Respective Authors

Although both authors present women as mysteriously elusive and promiscuous, each author tackles the issue of love in a slightly different way, with Hemingway portraying his work to suggest no proof of wonderful, satisfying affection and love. Brett and Jake Barnes, who are the two major characters, are unable to really love either psychologically or bodily. Whenever they talk of a likelihood of love, they are actually fantasizing, with imagination of another, more perfect world.

What Robert Cohn calls love, is also a fantasy, as it involves a stupid, inexperienced love based purely on romance in the story books. He is instantly attracted to Brett and since she is partly indifferent, yet very curious, she elopes with him. For Robert Cohn this romance means literary everything, yet it means absolutely nothing to Brett. Against all odds Cohn continues to think that they have a love that is perfect. He is mistaken, of course, and is loathed and looked down on by the other characters because of his lack of sight.

Badly intoxicated by alcohol, Brett’s fiancé, Mike, is too unconfident to love. Bill Gorton, on the other hand, picks up a girl of American origin at the festival but does not succeed due to his pessimisms. Pedro Romero is innocently young and passionately brave. He is also very eager to love. He falls in love with Brett and wants her hand in marriage. Knowing she will destroy him, however, Brett gives Romero up. She later tells Jake, in somewhat ridiculous regret that, “You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch… It’s sort of what we have instead of God.” (Hemingway, 78). This comes rather belatedly since she has broken many hearts already.

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows that one can do anything for love. When Gatsby realizes that Daisy is gone with another man, (Tom), he is dedicated to win her back by all means possible. He makes her his single most important objective in life. As a result, he acquires enormous wealth through mainly criminal dealings.

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Hemingway presents Brett as undeserving of the praises such as those heaped on her by the many men in the text. They are heaped on her either openly or by implication in The Sun Also Rises. Hence she is presented as neurotic, promiscuous eater of men. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald presents a woman who is genuinely cherished. Daisy is the epitome of perfection according to Jay Gatsby. She is the sensation of attraction, richness, complexity, elegance, and nobility that he has longed for all his life, before and after the war. On top of Daisy’s beauty and charm, however, she is shown by Fitzgerald to be indecisive, low, scornful and uninterested.

Women are also presented as lovers of money, simplicity materialism and luxurious life. Daisy is able to love, as she seems to have genuine love for Nick and sometimes Gatsby. She is incapable, however, of sustaining faithfulness and care. This is also shown by Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises, where Brett is involved with a number of men who do not seem to satisfy her desires or meet her expectations.


In conclusion then, the issue of love in both Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is strongly tied to women. Brett Buchanan and Daisy are the symbols of women and love in the two books. A close analysis of the two books shows that both authors portray women as extremely unreliable, mysterious and elusive, although Hemingway is somewhat lenient in his presentation than Fitzgerald.

Works Cited

Scott, F. The Great Gatsby. Oxford University Press, 1998.

Ernest, H. The Sun Also Rises. Simon & Schuster, 2002.

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"The Role of Love and Women in Great Gatsby and the Sun Also Rises." StudyCorgi, 8 Nov. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "The Role of Love and Women in Great Gatsby and the Sun Also Rises." November 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "The Role of Love and Women in Great Gatsby and the Sun Also Rises." November 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Role of Love and Women in Great Gatsby and the Sun Also Rises." November 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Role of Love and Women in Great Gatsby and the Sun Also Rises'. 8 November.

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