Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What has love got to do with it?

Up until now, I have often read Lois Tyson's analysis, and found myself in agreement, but struggling to believe some key details she built her argument from were truly, "reliable."  But this was not the case this time.  While I may not fully, or even partially understand the facets of Tyson's psychoanalytical reading, I would like to think I fully agree.
Early on in the chapter, Tyson mentions the fear of intimacy, and the role it plays on the characters of the novel. While it takes a while for her to come around to Gatsby, I believe that he is a victim of this.  One can so easily see how he struggles with relationships, and fantasizes about them in unrealistic ways, but can't seem to commit.  What brought this all together was the fact that, "Fear of intimacy with others is usually a product of fear of intimacy with oneself."  This all makes sense!  Every single character is so uncomfortable with themselves, especially Gatsby, and this is all due to fear of intimacy!  If this was up to me, this is what would tie the entire book together, no one is capable of fully accepting themselves, no one can fully love another, and through this, no one is comfortable!
Later on, Tyson mentions, "How can we say that Gatsby fears intimacy when he is committed to Daisy as to 'the following of a grail' when he kept a scrapbook of all news items concerning her, when he remained faithful to her even during the long years of her married life." This relates perfectly to my previous point that, while Gatsby was so hopelessly aloof in his love life, he lost all "realism" and ended up scarring himself of the thought of him and Daisy every actually being together! Tyson proceeds to explain how Daisy is just, "The key to Gatsby's dreams." which I too agree with.  Daisy is for Gatsby, and many others, simply the symbol of the dream he wishes to live.
It is interesting to see this then transfer over to even Nick!  Nick seems to be not necessarily well adjusted, but the most down to earth and sensible of all the characters.  This may very well be because the story is told from his perspective, but never the less, he comes of as put together.  As Tyson puts it, "Nick is a master of avoidance and denial."  When the most down to earth character is clearly struggling with a fear of intimacy and therefore is uncomfortable with themselves, (which looking back on it is glaringly obvious) it is no wonder the book ended the way it did.
When it comes down to it, I'm almost upset with myself that I agreed so closely with Tyson, was I not paying attention closely enough, did I just become a Tyson groupie, am I not capable of my own analysis?  But in the meantime, I would like to think, Tyson has added a more formulated background to my contrived take on "The Great Gatsby," broadening both my understanding and interest.

Do you believe that Tyson is looking to deeply into the text?  Is it possible that fear of intimacy plays such an important role?  Do you think that the fear of intimacy effects a large portion of the population?

No comments:

Post a Comment