Love might be blind, but obsession is unsatisfactory. When one is blinded by love, they tend to be less logical, and constantly overlook the faults of their significant other. So smitten by their significant other that they will still think of them as caring, faithful, loving, and beautiful even if that isn’t necessarily true. They will do anything to have them. In the story, The Great Gatsby, by Scott Fitzgerald, the main character Gatsby is so obsessed it seems like he fancies his own interests rather than thinking about her feelings. But his overwhelming love for her is why he eventually lost his life. And even after death, he was still thinking of her. Truly romantic! But, did you ever think that Gatsby had Obsessive Love Disorder? Gatsby does do everything a person with Obsessive Love Disorder would do if you really think about it!
My first indication was how Gatsby was unable to think about anyone else but Daisy. In chapter 5 where Gatsby wanted Nick to invite Daisy over for tea, there was an indication that he was so anxious he didn’t sleep, “He was pale, and there were dark signs of sleeplessness beneath his eyes.”(pg.84) Since Gatsby was probably waiting for her for hours thinking about how to impress her. Also, we get to see a really creepy side to Gatsby when he was talking to Daisy about how long they haven’t seen each other. Daisy says, “We haven’t met for many years.” and Gatsby corrects her saying, “ Five years next November,”(pg.87) and the fact he knew that so precisely made everyone in the room feel incredibly awkward. That’s because his answer, was in fact, creepy and awkward. But, Gatsby has worse problems.
My second indication was how Gatsby was strongly convinced that Daisy secretly loved him, but she just can’t show it for some reason. Gatsby constantly tries to get Daisy to leave her husband Tom. He’s so convinced that Daisy only loves him, he claims, “Your wife doesn’t love you. She’s never loved you. She loves me,”(pg.130) so arrogantly as if it were fact. Then on page 132, Gatsby is urging Daisy to tell Tom that she doesn’t love him and says, “ It doesn’t matter anymore. Just tell him the truth– that you never loved him– and it’s all wiped out forever.” Gatsby’s being really radical here and isn’t thinking about Daisy’s feelings, only his own. But then I started to realize some more indicators that he has Obsessive Love Disorder. Gatsby was extremely jealous towards Tom. In chapter 6, Fitzgerald made it quite clear that Gatsby didn’t like Tom at all. When Gatsby told Tom “I know your wife” he did so very aggressively. Bottom line, Gatsby was pretty salty the entire book.
Whenever Gatsby is around Daisy, it seems like he can’t even function like a normal human being sometimes. Let’s go back to chapter 5 again where it’s most clear. Gatsby literally couldn’t even walk. It said he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs. Not only that but that moment when he and Nick were waiting for Daisy to arrive, he got so upset when it was two minutes to being 4 o’clock. He thought she wasn’t going to come and freaked out. Did anyone ever bother telling this man that coming late to a party was the “cool” thing to do? Then when Daisy actually arrived, he almost ran away and knocked over stuff! And then he acted like a complete weirdo in front of her.
There are a lot more indicators that something’s wrong with him. Such as daydreaming and visualizing about her, thinking of Daisy as only his, and let’s not forget that he illegally produced and imported alcohol and gained millions, all for her! If that didn’t convince you, I understand. One could shrug it off as something as simple as love. But I thought of it in a much darker and sad way. As I’m writing this, I think that Gatsby’s problems are worse than what I had first thought. Let’s think deeper into this. Gatsby fought in WW1. The physical and mental hardships of the war must have had an impact on him. I think Gatsby might downright have PTSD! That would explain a lot!
-Sufferers of PTSD carry symptoms such as:
-Difficulty Sleeping (as I showed above)
-Consent use of drugs and drinking (then again this is the roaring 20’s we’re talking about)
-Wanting to be isolated from everyone else ( Gatsby never interacts with anyone at his parties. He only cares about Daisy)
-Irritated, angry outbursts (almost punched the shit outta Tom)
-Having trouble concentrating (Gatsby can focus on anything unless it’s Daisy-related)
So it’d make sense that his PTSD, is also the cause of his Obsessive Love Disorder! Also, it’s really sad when you think about it. Gatsby never really had anything. Yes, he had riches, but that’s pretty much it. We learn in chapter 6 that he didn’t have an admirable family or life. All he had was Daisy. He did this all, and at the cost of his life, for a person who (IMO) wasn’t even worth it. But, I think that the story The Great Gatsby is trying to show how obsession can lead to tragedy and to never ever hold on to a single dream. Once that dream is gone or fulfilled, then you have nothing again. In the story, you can see Gatsby’s inner monster poking out from time to time. And it shows him for the true mess that he really is. The great Gatsby wasn’t as great as Nick had once thought.
Thank for reading and leave a like or reply. Maybe I’ll review the movie sometime.