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Essay/Term paper: The great gatsby: daisy's love

Essay, term paper, research paper:  The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby: Daisy's Love

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the character of Daisy
Buchanan has many instances where her life and love of herself, money, and
materialism come into play. Daisy is constantly portrayed as someone who is only
happy when things are being given to her and circumstances are going as she has
planned them. Because of this, Daisy seems to be the character that turns
Fitzgerald's story from a tale of wayward love to a saga of unhappy lives.
Fitzgerald portrays Daisy as a "doomed" character from the very
beginning of the novel. She seems concerned only of her own stability and is
sometimes not ready to go though what she feels she must do to continue the life
that she has grown to know. She tells that she only married Tom Buchanan for the
security he offered and love had little to do with the issue. Before her wedding,
Jordan Baker finds Daisy in her hotel room,

"groping around in the waste-basket she
had with her on the bed and pull[ing] out
[a] string of pearls. "Take 'em down-stairs
and give 'em back.... Tell 'em all Daisy's
change' her mine... She began to cry - she cried
and cried... we locked the door and got her into
a cold bath." (Fitzgerald 77)

Money seems to be one of the very top priorities in her life, and everyone that
she surrounds herself with, including her daughter, seem to accept this as mere
fact with her. She lives in one of the most elite neighborhoods in the state, in
one of the most elegant houses described in the book, and intends very much for
her daughter to grow up much like she has. "And I hope she'll be a fool --
that's the best thing a girl can be in this world today, a beautiful little
fool." (Fitzgerald 24) She raves repeatedly of boats and large windows and halls
where many a extravagant party is held. This only stands remind of her reliance
on material goods and her stories of her gowns and home furnishings confirm this
sad fact. Daisy is one woman who is at home in Bloomingdales, and shuns anyone
who would be out-of-place at a gathering of societies richest and most pompous
citizens. She is forever looking forward to showing off, and she exhibits such
behavior when she parades her daughter around in front of guests like an
inanimate object. So intimate in fact, that it seems as if Pammy was not even
really wanted.

"In June 1922, Nick records Daisy's
statement that her daughter is three
years old. Daisy married Tom Buchanan in
June 1919. If her child is indeed three,
then Daisy was nine months pregnant at
her wedding. ... The age of the child is
a clue, planted by Fitzgerald, to Daisy's
premarital promiscuity or even an indication
that Pammy is Gatsby's child... It might also be
asserted that Daisy's mistake in Pammy's age
was intended by Fitzgerald to indicate her
indifference to the child." (Bruccoli 38)

At the end of the book, however, there is a sudden realization that is the same
as the people whom Daisy interacts with; this is how Daisy was raised, and it is
the Daisy that they must learn to accept.
Another character flaw of Daisy's is her reliance on men. She is seen as
a women who's entire existence is based not on what she has personally
accomplished, but what the man she has married has done with his life, and to
support her. Tom was a very successful football player. He is handsome. But what
entices Daisy the most is his abundant wealth that he has no problem spending
and sharing with his wife. For this, and not for love, Daisy and Tom are
married. It is a marriage out of convince, one that was just the next step in
both of their lives. At Gatsby's party, this is most apparent.

"Go ahead," answered Daisy genially, "and
if you want to take down any address here's my
gold pencil."... She looked around after a moment
and told me the girl was "common but pretty," and
I knew that except for the half-hour she'd been
alone with Gatsby she wasn't having a good time."
(Fitzgerald 107)

When she is faced with the decision to tell both men whom she is truly in love
with, Daisy confesses that she really was in love with Tom for a time, but also
that Jay Gatsby was one of her beaus. She is unwilling to deny her original love
to Tom in any way, and states: "I love you now - isn't that enough? I can't help
what's past... I did love him once-but I loved you too!" (Fitzgerald 133) She
gives the expression that she would have married Gatsby had it not been that he
was poor. He was also, at the time that the two originally met, somewhat from
the wrong side of town, but his uniform help to disguise this. Because of his
undying love for Daisy, Gatsby has come to spend the rest of his life making
enough money in unlawful ways so as to buy her love. Daisy is once again
portrayed as a selfish and materialistic woman who worries about no one but
But what we as readers find to be the most unnerving part of Daisy's
entire character is her total unhappiness. Despite all that she has had placed
upon her, Daisy only wants what she has never learned to accept. This is true
love, without strings, attachments, or material goods. She repeatedly reminds
the readers that love is exactly what you make of it, though she seems to have
made a mockery of love in her own life. She is an example of what is completely
wrong with the modern society's idea of love; that it can be bought and sold at
will of the buyer and seller. For, even when she is offered unconditional love
she doesn't know how to react to it.

"He knew that when he kissed this girl,
and forever wed his unutterable visions to her
perishable breath, his mind would never romp
again like the mind of God. So he waited,
listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork
that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed
her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him
like a flower and the incarnation was complete."
(Fitzgerald 43)

This is very wrong, and Daisy lives in misery her entire adult life amid things
that are supposed to buy her happiness but lend her nothing but heartbreak. She
is confused and has learned nothing of how to handle true love when it is given
to her. In her world she must buy and sell her soul and love like the goods in a
store window, for a price. The readers sees her almost as a martyr of her own
actions and misconceptions of life.
All of these character flaws; Daisy's selfishness, materialistic views,
reliance on men, and overbearing emphasis on money, all lead to her own
destruction. Though unlike George and Gatsby's physical destruction, Daisy's is
one of a mental and spiritual kind. She is seen as someone who has forsaken her
true love with Gatsby for Tom and the stability that he stands for, thus
creating her own demise. She stands as a symbol of what one can do to destroy
oneself with ignorance and innocence together.


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