Jay Gatsby believes he is the hero who will save Daisy from the evil clutches of the world they live in. He whisks her away from her old money life and shows her the life they could have had five years ago when he left for war. As the book goes on, his actions begin to appear more foolish than heroic and his grasp on Daisy turns out to be slipping. F. Scott Fitzgerald does a wonderful job on The Great Gatsby and really paints a picture where it is perplexing to figure out who is the real hero and the real villain of the story. Jay Gatsby was determined to win back Daisy, but his actions throughout the book are more foolish than heroic and that is how he loses her.
Gatsby has his heart set on Daisy and one way of getting her back was by using her cousin, also Gatsby’s neighbor, Nick Carraway. Gatsby also uses Jordan Baker, one of Daisy’s friends, to get more information on her. Referring to Daisy, Jordan says “He wants to know,” continued Jordan, “if you’ll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over” (78). This is the first way Gatsby begins to influence Daisy, by showing her himself after so many years. He then invites her to his large house to show her the lifestyle of the new money people who live on West Egg. “That huge place there?” she cried pointing” (90). Gatsby begins to picture his life with Daisy and as the book progresses Gatsby’s true intentions come to light.
Jordan sheds more light on the fact that Gatsby was more obsessed with Daisy than really in love with her. Jordan states: “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay” (78) and, “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night,” went on Jordan, “but she never did” (79). Gatsby truly idolizes her, judging everything so that is to her liking. Daisy is an embodiment of his dreams more than she is a real woman to him. Winning her back is so engraved into Gatsby’s mind that he doesn’t take into account Daisy’s own feelings and that is where the real foolishness lies. He is a tragic figure because of his foolish, romantic delusion that he can recover Daisy’s affections now that he is affluent. Gatsby wants Daisy so badly that he fails to realize that Daisy has a life, a marriage, and a daughter. “You can’t repeat the past.” (110) is said to Gatsby, but he can’t seem to grasp that he no longer has what he had with Daisy five years ago.
Gatsby lets his true colors shine as his heroic romanticism dissolves into an obsession. Gatsby insists that Daisy never loved Tom, also being a point of where he lacks heroism. It’s an unheroic display of Gatsby’s out-of-control ego. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me” (130). Gatsby puts a foolish emphasis on marrying someone for wealth rather than love being the main component. It’s also an important note that most of Gatsby’s money and wealth came from crime. The crime was still greed fuelled and it was to fill his lack of confidence in the family that he came from. This is an easy way to determine Gatsby as an absurd character than a hero. Another example was when Nick tried to convince Gatsby to leave town after Myrtle’s death. “He wouldn’t consider it. He couldn’t possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope and I couldn’t bear to shake him free” (148). Even Nick, who had grown close to Gatsby, couldn’t convince him to save himself because everything fell back onto Daisy and her decision. His willingness to take the blame for Daisy may seem heroic, but all of it was for her to fall in love with him again and Gatsby fails to realize it will never happen.
Overall, Gatsby’s actions seem to be heroic in nature, but what really ends the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy is his foolishness of trying to get her to fall in love all over again. He is so devoted to her that he would give up all he has in life for a problem that really isn’t his, though he was present at the time. He would lose everything and that includes Daisy. Would he have taken the blame for any of his other “friends”? The answer would be most likely no because, throughout the novel, Gatsby has been trying to impress Daisy in hopes of her attraction to him. His action is not selfless, but selfish in him thinking of his appearance and reputation towards Daisy. His facade of American war hero and dream achiever could never hide the foolish obsession that Gatsby harbored for a love he lost years ago.