Status and money can influence a person’s love, caused the Platonism divides love into three stages, the first one “Eros” which is Sensual love or sexual love, the second one “Philia” which is platonic love or friendship, the third one “Agape” which is “an intimate companionship or relationship, especially between two persons of the opposite sex, that is characterized by the absence of sexual involvement; a spiritual affection.”(Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019), In the great Gatsby, we can directly see the influence of the class gap between the character and the character on love.
The person who has high class totally imparity with other person who has low class ,such as Tom, in the mind of who is in the high social status, we can confirm this from the environment where Nick went to Tom’s house for the first time, ‘We walked through a high hallway into a bright rose-colored space, …and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.’ (Page10,Nick), From Nick’s Description of the house ‘ high hallway into a bright rose-colored space’ we can fully see Tom’s wealth, thus reflecting Tom’s social status, because in the United States at that time, your wealth would be related to your social status, so It is such a person with a high social class, the pursuit of love is just the satisfaction of the body, this can be reflected after Nick met Tom’s wife, Tom talked with Nick about his lover whose name was Myrtle Wilson. “I want you to meet my girl. ”(Page27,TOM)” and after Tom quarreled with Gatsby in the hotel, he found that Gatsby and his wife were just in a spiritual love, which immediately relaxed him. “Oh—that’s all.’ Tom tapped his thick fingers together like a clergyman and leaned back in his chair”(Page 140, TOM) and what’s even more striking is that, When Tom, Nick goes out with Tom’s mistress, Tom buys a puppy for his mistress and said, “It’s a bitch, go and buy ten more dogs with it” (Page 31, TOM)in this case, Tom compares his mistress to a dog, for his mistress is because of money to those close to him, so combining these three points, in Tom’s eyes, as long as it is what you want, not what is himself can’t buy with money and power, and the love in his eyes, is merely physical love, after all, his wife and gates than even miss each other, in his eyes, as long as no physical relationship, that everything is not love, this also reflects the inseparable relationship between love and power. The higher the social status, the thinner the love.
Social status is related to the attitude towards feelings, so for Nick of middle class, he attaches great importance to feelings. First of all, we can see from Nick’s description of himself that his social status is not at the top. He is a middle class who fights for his dream. “My own house was an eye-sore, but it was a small eye-sore, and it had been overlooked, …all for eighty dollars a month.” ‘I’m a bond man.’(Page13,Nick ) We can see that this is the image of a middle class, and it is this middle class character that tells us what friendship is, also that’s the second stage of Platonic love. In fact, at the beginning of the whole novel, “No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated … elations of men.” Nick begins to describe his admiration for Gatsby, and then gradually turns to his hatred for others. Nick is angry about why Gatsby cannot realize his dream and why this cruel society does not help Gatsby. And, after Gatsby dies, Nick will hear Gatsby’s voice say: “Look here, old sport, you’ve got to get somebody for me. You’ve got to try hard. I can’t go through this alone”. This shows that Nick’s thinking of Gatsby and Nick’s importance to Gatsby, also “I can’t go through this alone” show us In Gatsby’s mind, only Nick is standing on a line with himself, so in this kind of romantic love, the middle social class Nick stuck to his own test of friendship, because only Nick would end up with Gatsby
The lower the social class, the more sincere the feelings, Gatsby is the one that corresponds to this. We can see this from Gatsby for the first time when he asks Nick to meet his dream lover whose name is Daisy “‘I don’t want to do anything out of the way!’ he kept saying. ‘I want to see her right next door.’”.(P86,Gatsby) Gatsby’s self-esteem and his initial status made him feel how weak his love was and only hoped that he could meet his former love again. All of this comes from Gatsby’s background. “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people—his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself”(P105,Gatsby) When Gatsby is not satisfied with his name, he creates a new self, that is Gatsby and his understanding of love is as great as his name. We can see it clearly from Gatsby prepare first meeting with Daisy at Nick’s house. “Gatsby in a white flannel suit, silver shirt and gold-colored tie hurried in. He was pale and there were dark signs of sleeplessness beneath his eyes” As can be seen from Gatsby’s eye circles, Gatsby stayed up all night in preparation for meeting Daisy, and we can see the importance of Daisy to Gatsby. Meanwhile, when Nick tells Gatsby that time cannot go back to the past and Gatsby refutes Nick, he tells us Gatsby is crazy about Daisy. “I wouldn’t ask too much of her,’ I ventured. ‘You can’t repeat the past.”(P118) all these phenomena show that Gatsby is crazy about Daisy, and also shows the low-level people’s reluctance to give up love?Gatsby, with Platonic spirit to love a rich material lady, with desire as the nutrient, with the lies for its irrigation, to support the noisy and luxurious dream of that era. So we saw a Gatsby standing on his lawn looking at the green light on Daisy’s wharf on the other side, a Gatsby who was attracted to sit by Daisy only for a high-rise banquet, and a Gatsby who was so nervous that he lost his temper when meeting Daisy again.“Five years before the start of the novel, Jay Gatsby (who had learned from Dan Cody how to act like one of the wealthy) was stationed in Louisville before going to fight in WWI. In Louisville, he met Daisy Fay, a beautiful young heiress (10 years his junior), who took him for someone of her social class. Gatsby maintained the lie, which allowed their relationship to progress.” This completely shows the relationship between class and love. Only when Gatsby hides his real class from Daisy can Daisy accept Gatsby.
If you don’t believe it, we can also talk about Wilson and his wife’s love. Their love really confirmed the low-end of the society for love crazy, but also further confirmed the social status of love. Let’s start by talking about Wilson’s love for his wife, who was obsessed even after he found out that his wife was cheating on him, with the idea of taking her away from this chaotic class, when he found out that his wife had cheated on him, he locked her up at home. “I just got wised up to something funny the last two days,’ remarked Wilson. ‘That’s why I want to get away. That’s why I been bothering you about the car”(P132,George) and his whole life was transformed by his wife’s infidelity “In the sunlight his face was green”(P131,George), we can see George Wilson’s love for his wife and, if you ask me to retort that you didn’t say that love is linked to social status, then why did George Wilson’s wife cheat on him? And, if you ask me to retort that you didn’t say that love is linked to social status, then why did George Wilson’s wife cheat on him? In fact, the betrayal of Myrtle Wilson is more likely to show that money and power can have a huge impact on love, actually, at the beginning of the Wilson couple, there was a deep love for each other when there was no money and social status to erode their love. “Although Myrtle was taken with George at first, she overestimated his money and “breeding” and found herself married to a mechanic and living over a garage in Queens, a situation she’s apparently unhappy with (2.112)However, divorce was uncommon in the 1920s, and furthermore, the working-class Myrtle doesn’t have access to wealthy family members or any other real options, so she stays married – perhaps because George is quite devoted and even in some ways subservient to her. A few months before the beginning of the novel in 1922, she begins an affair with Tom Buchanan, her first affair (2.117). She sees the affair as a way out of her marriage, but Tom sees her as just another disposable mistress, leaving her desperate and vulnerable once George finds out about the affair.” This document also shows the relationship between status and love from a positive perspective. Status can completely influence one’s thoughts on love
When Nick first listens to a conversation in a hotel, Catherine said : “You were crazy about him for a while.” They were love each so much, there is no doubt about it, but the everything was changed when the Myrtle Wilson met the Tom. She starts to betray love, because she wants to become a member of the upper class, so her first step is to give up love, because we have said, the higher the class, the more indifferent to love, so she needs to do the first step, is to take her own love and give up the Platonic love. So, when the Myrtle Wilson met Tom, she know what she want, the high class. “It was on the two little seats facing each … was ‘You can’t live forever, you can’t live forever.”(P40,Myrty) She was transformed by the lure of class, by the abandonment of Plato’s love and the abandonment of her loving husband. Also this means that Platonic love degenerates into a stepping stone to a higher class.
Combined with all things, social class and love are inextricably linked. The higher the social class, the thinner the feelings will be; the lower the social class, the more important the feelings will be?and the way to test love is to base it on Platonic love, and only the deep love of the soul can really prove your true love forever, therefore, in our life, we must be a faithful servant to love, and not a betrayal of love for class and money.
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