I will probably have lots of little epiphanies and thoughts on The Great Gatsby in the coming months, as I digest the book and eventually see the film, but something struck me today that I thought was pretty neat.
The essential thing that Jay Gatsby wants is for Daisy to admit that A) she loves him and doesn’t love Tom and B) that she never loved Tom. It is the crux of the big confrontation between Gatsby and Tom before the fateful car ride back from NYC.
“She never loved you, do you hear?” he cried. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved any one except me!”
“Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby. “I love you now–isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once–but I loved you too.”
Gatsby’s eyes opened and closed.
“You loved me too?” he repeated.
“Even that’s a lie,” said Tom savagely. “She didn’t know you were alive. Why,–there’re things between Daisy and me that you’ll never know, things that neither of us can ever forget.”
The words seemed to bite physically into Gatsby.
In light of this, I wonder if Fitzgerald intentionally named the heroine of the story, Daisy. Daisy as in “She loves me, She loves him not.” Even if it wasn’t intentional, I still think it is a neat connection to make. What do you guys think?