Daisy and Gatsby fell in love before he left for the war in 1917. Gatsby had lied to try to impress the girl he found so charming and elegant, and it worked. Daisy promised to wait for his return. However, two years later, desperate for someone to love her, she did not pass at the opportunity to marry Tom. Throughout the first half of the novel we came to understand the void in Daisy’s life, Gatsby. Both characters have led successful lives up to this point, and both are unfulfilled.
After a life of chasing after this one girl, the question before us remains, “was it worth it for Gatsby? ” I’ve decided that in some ways it was, but in others it most certainly wasn’t. Seeing as in the end Gatsby paid his life to try and conciliate Daisy, it is easy to believe that things were not worth it for him. It seems as though Gatsby is in love with the Daisy from 1917, because he hasn’t seen her since. He has worked his whole life to finally impress that girl, who has most certainly changed.
Nevertheless Gatsby proves his seemingly unconditional love for her when he takes the blame for Myrtle’s death, resulting in his own. Maybe everything he had done for Daisy still could have been worth it for Gatsby, if Daisy had truly loved Gatsby, or even respected him. But Daisy neither loved nor respected Gatsby, despite the fact that she declared, “I love you now” (pg 120). It seems as though Gatsby’s struggle was worthless in the end. Since he was still living as if it were 1917 Gatsby sacrificed his life for someone who, in my opinion, was not worth dying for.
Although it can be argued that giving up your life for someone you love is a good thing, it is not the case in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby didn’t even know who she was anymore; I don’t think Daisy was worth the pain and effort he went to, to acquire his status. The fact of the matter is that Gatsby had been lying to Daisy since they met. He told her stories of his background to impress her, and set himself higher than the rest of the men who fancied her.
He let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself- that he was able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities- he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about in the world” (page 149) Gatsby’s methods of winning her heart were fundamentally flawed, even though is approach was successful. I would also consider his reasons for wanting her to be unpromising as well.
Throughout the novel we find that Gatsby has an eye for wealth, and beauty. In 1917 Daisy had wealth, not to mention all the men in town were after her. It seems as though that made her more desirable in Gatsby’s mind, as though he needed to win a contest, he perused Daisy. For the rest of his life he worked, sometimes illegally, to finally have a mansion that would suit her needs. He did not invest time into making friends, building other relationships, instead he created this lifestyle of luxury, but in reality it was empty.
We see the truth in that when we find out that wealth could not even get people to attend his own funeral. After waiting for five years, Gatsby only spent a few short months reunited with Daisy, and in the end he died alone. Gatsby’s effort wasn’t rewarded by any means throughout the few months he spent with Daisy. One reason I find it was rewarding for Gatsby, is because he was able to live the superficial life he seemed to always want. His love for her got him through the war, and you could say “saved” his life.
He did extraordinarily well in the war. He was a captain before he went to the front, and following the Argonne battles he got his majority and the command of the divisional machine-guns. ” (pg 150) It was love that gave him motivation to do well in war, and in life. He had the drive for success and because of it he was able to be richer than he ever dreamed. He gained the friendship of Nick and Jordan, although short lived, was thanks to his connection with Daisy.
Gatsby was blinded by love, and even though he was living in the past, sacrificing his life for her probably seemed worth it in his mind. He paid the ultimate price to ensure that she would be safe and happy, and if that is what fulfilled Gatsby in the end, giving up his life was worth it. Was it worth it for Gatsby in the end? In some ways yes, but in many ways it wasn’t. At first, looking at the story with an objective point of view, it certainly wasn’t worth it.
From what I read, in terms of the events which led up to his death, Gatsby wasn’t rewarded by any means. Except for a few months of time spent in close proximity to Daisy, Gatsby got nothing even though he gave up everything. However when you look at the story from Gatsby’s point of view, emotions are more involved. You begin to think that if he was truly in love with her, anything he did for her would have been worth it for him. In conclusion Gatsby may have found reward by his life’s efforts, while at first glace it would seem he was left with nothing.
Now on the flip side, there were some strong arguments made that say that it was all worth it for Jay Gatsby. Johannes states a few good reasons why things were worth it for Gatsby. “Because of this love he fought amazingly in the war to get back to her, because of this love he became rich and famous and because of this love he lived the life he had. If all this is not rewarding enough than we still shouldn’t forget that Daisy was the reason he became friends with Nick and Jordan and so gained two good friends, which can’t be bought with money.
Hilary makes an interesting point by saying that in order to sacrifice your life for someone, you must have true love. “Gatsby was willing to make any sacrifice for Daisy, and he paid the ultimate price to ensure she would be safe and happy. That is true love, something Gatsby had to work for and was (although hastily) rewarded for. ” As you can see there are some good arguments put up on both sides, and this is really an opinion reflection topic.