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Essay/Term paper: Daisy's love

Essay, term paper, research paper:  The Great Gatsby

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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
Young-2
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.
Young-3
"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
Young-4
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
Young-5
again portrayed as a selfish and materialistic woman
who worries about no one but herself.
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)

Young-6
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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