In the novel the Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, one sees that love is one of the most significant forces in human nature and how one responds to love can reveal a great deal about one’s self. In the novel one can observe that throughout the novel there are many cases about how one reacts to love. For example George Wilson the husband of Myrtle Wilson can be seen reacting unusually out of love. As well Nick who reveals his character as he has to respond to dealing with love in various situations. Even Tom can be viewed as another character who is faced with a situation of love that reveals his true character.In the novel George Wilson, the husband of Myrtle Wilson, loves his wife very much. But unfortunately for him, his wife is having an affair with Tom. When George learns about this his response is that it drains the life out of him literally as he’s described as green and lifeless.
“With an effort Wilson left the shade and support of the doorway and, breathing hard, unscrewed the cap of the tank. In the sunlight his face was green.”(99) Here we see the affects of love on Wilson as he is drained emotionally and physically since he has found out that his wife is having an affair with another man. This is a good example of character development as he begins in the novel as an aspiring businessman chasing the american dream but the effect that love has on him exhausts him when he finds out Myrtle has an affair because he truly loved her and it hurt George physically and mentally. Later on when Myrtle is killed this truly does cross the line for George and when he finds out from Tom that Gatsby hit Myrtle with his car he changes into more or less an animal seeking revenge. ” He murdered her. It was an accident George.
Wilson shook his head.His eyes narrowed and his mouth opened slightly with the ghost of a superior ‘Hm!” (130)This is another example of someone of a character development as he changes throughout the course of this novel from a eager business man to a motivated killer. This as well all ties into a grand theme of the decline of the american dream since George Wilson aspired to create his american dream but is left in the valley of ashes which symbolizes his failure in the pursuit of wealth.Nick throughout the novel is also another example of an individual who reveals character when faced with situations where one must respond to love. For example when Nick sees Gatsby for the last time he says to him “They’re a rotten crowd”(126) This quotation is a very important quotation as it symbolizes that Nick has finally passed judgment on all the other members of the upper class thus showing that he has developed throughout the course of the story and formed a new bond with Gatsby as he respects Gatsby and has a new found love for him even though Nick says it’s the only compliment he has ever payed him. Another example of Nick’s is after Gatsby’s death “But all this part of it seemed remote and unessential. I found myself on Gatsby’s side, and alone.
“(134) This reveals a lot about Nick’s character itself, it reveals that when everyone else chose not to be by Gatsby’s side after the murder Nick chose to be loyal to Gatsby as he saw it as the right thing to do. Nick’s experiences with love helped him develop as character since the love he had has provoked him now to judge the others for not showing up to the funeral. Also this feeds into the theme of the decline of the american dream since the american dream is all about new money and doing it yourself but we see here that Gatsby’s american was built on a dishonest living and Nick is uninspired as he comes to New york and sees that the wealthy class living the american dream isn’t all that great since they have little respect and are self centered.
Tom Buchanan in the novel is an aggressive, arrogant bully who is from a very wealthy family with lots of old money. In the novel Tom is put in a situation where he must deal with love but Tom’s definition of love can be different than others “Oh that’s all” (106) In this situation Tom realizes they never had sex, so to him he thinks regardless Daisy has never loved Gatsby because she never had sex with Gatsby. This reveals a lot about Tom’s character as it reveals his lack of intelligence due to the fact he only associates love with sex as well as his temper as he lashes out after Gatsby claimed Daisy never loved Tom. Tom himself contributes to the theme of the decline of the american dream as its based on making it yourself but Tom simply retreats into his family’s wealth and has no sense of individuality and hasn’t had to endure a hard days work in his life.In conclusion Love is one of the most powerful forces in the world and how an individual deals with love can reveal a great deal about him or herself.
As we saw love can leave an individual emotionally and physically drained or it can push someone over the edge just like George Wilson. Love can also bring passion and loyalty out of an individual similar to Nick. Love may also bring out the worst in a person just like it did with tom it brought out aggressive, arrogant, hypocritical monster. So in conclusion love can do powerful things to an Individual, the questions is, what would you do for love?