COMM 1304 Intro to Communication
Professor Bridget Mueller
5 October 2017
The Rise and Fall of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan
At the core of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, a theme of desire is introduced when Jay Gatsby is mind blown by the beauty of Daisy Buchanan. Jay’s main ambition in life is to acquire a massive wealth to sway the marvelous Daisy. However, it’s evident as Jay Gatsby digs into his quest for wealth and inclination for materialism, ultimately money can't buy you happiness. Relationship stages, perception, and conflict in interpersonal communication are all concepts proving Gatsby’s love for Daisy is materialistic.
In class, we discussed the six main stages in relationships: contact, involvement, intimacy, deterioration, repair, and dissolution. When analyzing Jay and Daisy’s relationship, the contact stage establishes the first step of their relationship. Five years before the beginning of the novel, Jay Gatsby was based in Louisville before going to battle in WWI. In Louisville, he encountered a woman named Daisy Fay, a stunning young heiress who anticipated him for belonging to her upper social class. Jay’s money came from bootlegging and not inheritance like Daisy assumed. This is a form of perceptual contact because physical appearance is the characteristic most immediately available to the initial development of Jay’s attraction to Daisy. It was at this point when Daisy decided not to pursue her relationship with Jay by marrying Tom Buchanan. Jay on the other hand was infatuated with Daisy and the wealth she represents. After returning from war to the US in 1919, Jay found out Daisy was married and was settled to win her back. The next stage of their relationship is involvement. Daisy seems to have connected with Jay over wealth and materialistic things. For example, her response to his expensive shirts was, “They’re such beautiful shirts…I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts before (Fitzgerald 49).” Is it common for someone in love to cry upon seeing a collection of nice shirts? According to Daisy and Jay, the shirts symbolize wealth and means. When Daisy sobs into the shirts, she is demonstrating her materialistic enthusiasms. She isn’t in tears of joy because she has been reunited with Jay, she sobs because of the transparent satisfaction all his material wealth bestows on her. After the involvement stage, Daisy and Jay’s relationship starts to deteriorate because Jay’s admiration for Daisy is much more powerful than her feelings for him. Daisy has emerged to depict all of Jay’s greater dreams about wealth and an improved life. In the end, it’s impossible for Daisy to live up to Jay’s vast expectations from her. The last stage of their relationship is dissolution. This is when Daisy realizes Jay was lying about being in the same social crowd when they initially met and settles with Tom for the enjoyment and protection that his money and power provides. Eventually Tom and Daisy work...