What Does Gatsby Want From Daisy?

Last Updated: October 24th, 2023 by Kerry Wisby (Teacher-BA English Literature, 1920s & Great Gatsby Expert)

In the Great Gatsby, Daisy and Gatsby are in a bit of a love triangle, and Gatsby wants her to admit she does not love her husband, Tom, as much as she loves him.

While Gatsby desires Daisy, his pursuit of her is a lot like his pursuit of money and prosperity.

Why is Gatsby obsessed with Daisy?

Gatsby thinks he wants love, and maybe he does, but Daisy also represents the American Dream, and he wants the money and lifestyle that come with being with a woman like Daisy.

In his history, Gatsby grew up in North Dakota. In Daisy, Gatsby sees a new way of life that is a lot better than the life he had before he met Dan Cody.  

Daisy symbolized the life he dreamed for himself, and the first step was for Daisy to leave Tom.

Did Gatsby Really Love Daisy?

Gatsby loves Daisy, and that is one of the central themes in the Great Gatsby. While Gatsby does care for Daisy, there are some confusing moments in the book as well.

Gatsby also projects some of his other desires in life onto Daisy. Born James Gatz, Gatsby ultimately changes his name as he chases the American Dream. Gatsby is after money, wealth, and fortune.

Some would say that Gatsby and Daisy didn’t really love each other. It’s easy to see that Gatsby loved the life that Daisy lived, but did he really love her? Did Gatsby only love to chase what Daisy symbolized?

What Does Gatsby Desire of Daisy?

When wondering what does Gatsby want from Daisy, the reader should consider that what Gatsby is really chasing is more than just Daisy. Daisy was not a fan of Gatsby’s parties, and when he realizes that in Chapter 6 he becomes disheartened.

What does Gatsby really want?

In Chapter 6 ( see Gatsby Chapter 6 Quotes ) , the reader learns that Gatsby just wants Daisy to admit that she never loved Tom and loved him (Gatsby) instead.

While both Gatsby and Tom had a deep history with Daisy, only one would end up with her in the end.

Why Does Gatsby Love Daisy?

Why does Gatsby still wait for Daisy?

Gatsby loves Daisy because she symbolizes his ultimate dream of wealth and status. When he courted her and she accepted him – Gatsby couldn’t believe his great fortune.

As he tells Nick in Chapter 8, Daisy was the first “nice” girl he had ever known, and in his own words he said:

“I can’t describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her, old sport. I even hoped for a while that she’d throw me over, but she didn’t because she was in love with me too.”

“Well, there I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute…”

It was evident that Gatsby was head-over-heels in love with Daisy, obviously overwhelmed by the great love they shared before he left.

So when he returned, it crushed him to find out that she’s married to another man. He then became equally obsessed with the idea of becoming filthy rich and getting Daisy back.

It’s easy to see that Gatsby did love Daisy, but he was also consumed by his dreams of wealth that Daisy represented. 

As for Daisy, she was impressed by the money Gatsby eventually got, but she could not get herself to leave Tom permanently.

What First Attracted Gatsby to Daisy?

To Gatsby, Daisy is his ultimate American Dream. She personified all his ambitions of a good life. He wouldn’t have been attracted to Daisy if she were a poor, low-class person like James Gatz was.

In Chapter 6, Gatsby talks about one autumn night and how he fell in love with Daisy, his dream incarnate.

“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.”

“Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch, she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

It’s plain to see that Gatsby idolized Daisy, put her on a pedestal, and poured himself out to this love, leaving nothing for himself.

How Did Gatsby Get His Big Break?

In the Great Gatsby, Dan Cody gave James Gatz his big break. Dan Cody was a millionaire, and he paid Gatsby good money to do work for him. 

Dan Cody also left Gatsby money when he died, but Gatsby was not able to get his hands on the money because of legal matters. However, this inspired Gatsby to make the move to New York and chase a wealthy lifestyle, putting distance between himself and his rural North Dakota upbringing.

A good study under Cody, Gatsby soon got the chance to leave the past behind and earn his own money.

Cody and His Influence on Gatsby

Without Dan Cody, Jay Gatsby’s life would have been on an entirely different trajectory, and he most likely would have never met Daisy, Tom, or any of the other characters.

The history between Cody and Gatsby led Gatsby to take on a new name and pursue a new lifestyle. It could be argued that Dan Cody is the most important character in the entire novel.

Without Cody, James Gatz probably would never have changed his name, and he would never have become the man in the book.

It turned out to not matter that Gatsby could not inherit the money Cody left for him, as just by being influenced by Cody Gatsby’s entire life was changed.

Gatsby did not have much of a role model growing up, so Cody was the first person to truly influence his life, and is ultimately the reason he changed his name and became the man he became.

What Does Gatsby Want From Daisy?
What Does Gatsby Want From Daisy?
Click here to find out what Gatsby wants from Daisy.  Did Dan Cody influenced him and his young love for Daisy, and why Gatsby wants Daisy to leave Tom for good!
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