“Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby. “I love you now — isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once — but I loved you too.”
Upon realizing the sacred and almost divine image Gatsby has of her, Daisy starts to feel the pressure that Gatsby is putting on her, and perceives his attempts to restore the past. Gatsby wants nothing more than to recreate the past, while Daisy is only concerned with the future and how the rest of her life will play out.
Gatsby became extremely absorbed in his imagination of Daisy over the past five years, that is why he wants her so bad. And his memory allows him to constantly add vitality to her image and thus created a flawless love. But the reality doesn’t match up to the expectation, since Daisy doesn’t care about the past, and her reasons for choosing him would be different than what he hoped for. Gatsby wants the reason she chooses him to be that she wants to go back to the way things were, but she is really doing it because she thought it would be better for her going forward. Another example of how Gatsby’s ridiculous demands and expectations are driving the two further apart.
Consequently, Daisy could not live up to the memories Gatsby had of her. Not because Daisy has changed so much over the course, but because his imagination has grown so immense that Daisy could not possibly satisfy his hope and demand of her. Gatsby lives in his past memories of their love and wants to restore the love that has already been distorted by his own illusions. Because of his expectations for her to represent the perfect embodiment of love, Gatsby could not tolerate Daisy to have ever loved another man, while Daisy, no matter how unwilling she is to admit, has loved Tom at some point of their marriage. Thus, Gatsby and Daisy’s love is doomed and destruction is inevitable as both gradually realize the gap that time creates in their love that they will never be able to overcome.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Great Gatsby (Chapter VII)” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and leave a comment on the lyrics box