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Daisy in The Great Gatsby Essay


Daisy Buchanan is a trapped woman, she is trapped in a marriage that she is unhappy in and she is trapped in a world where she has no chance to be free of independent. She is at the mercy of her husband, Tom, a man who takes her for granted, and who is very controlling of their marriage. He wants women to be beautiful but nave, Daisy is very beautiful but is far from nave. She realizes her roll is to be the fool and because of that she comes off foolish and shallow. The reader must understand that Daisy may be doing it out of necessity. In F. Scott Fitzgeralds, The Great Gatsby; Daisy is the most enigmatic and perhaps the wittiest character. Daisy is smart enough to understand the limits imposed on her and has become jaded and indulgent because of them. Daisys greatest downfall is that she is unable to play the fool.

Before one discusses why Daisy can not play a fool, one may need to ask why she should want to be a fool. In the 1920s, when this book takes place women were expected to be beautiful but ignorant. This is a great example of why Tom may have, had no problem with having an affair. It was accepted that men could have someone on the side but women could not. Women in this time were fools, so men could get away without their wife knowing. Although was not the case in Daisy and Toms marriage, Daisy knew of Toms mistress. This is shown very early on when Nick has dinner with the Buchanans and Jordan Barker, with the use of fifth guest referring to the phone. Since Daisy is not a fool like Tom wants in a wife, he finds his fool in Myrtle. Early on in the book, she is portrayed as sweet and innocent. Her white and seemingly floating dress appeals to Nick in this way. She grew up as "the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville." Even then she dressed in white. Daisy also keeps her daughter around as a show toy. Whenever company comes over, she beckons for the little girl to come and put on a little act for everyone. This is symbolic of Daisys life early on in the book; she is kept in the closet until it's time to show off for company, then she becomes radiant and personable. When everyone has gone, she is a bored housewife, of no importance to the world wondering aloud what she is going to do with the rest of her life. She appears to be bored yet innocent and harmless. Yet her innocence is false.

Daisy simply can not play the fool because she is smart. Right away the reader understands that she is not blind to the fact men want women to be nave. When Daisy was explaining to Nick about the birth of her child, when Tom was God knows where she had to reassure herself that having a girl is all right. Im glad its a girl. And I hope shell be a fool thats the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool. First thing this quote shows is that Tom was off somewhere possibly with another woman, because he has not been faithful to Daisy yet, why would having a child change that? More importantly, Daisy understands want being a woman means to society, she sees how women get treated and how she does by her own husband. Daisy has to deal with Toms affair every day; if she was a fool she would not have that problem.

Since Daisy met Jay Gatsby at such a young age, she does not know how to be someone she is not. With Jay, Daisy did not have to act like anyone but herself. Jay is the one who was pretending to be someone of wealth so Daisy would notice him. Daisy knew real love at an early age she was unable to give Tom that same love. She did not know how to act around a man who wanted her to be nave. She had to be a strong woman with Jay, when he was shipping out for the military she had her bags packed to go see him. That is not a common thing that female teenagers did in the 1920s. When Jay shows up again it is hard not to come back to the same feelings she once had for him. But for her to have a relationship on the side is not right even if Tom has one, the old clich goes two wrongs do not make a right.

Despite all that she has had placed upon her, Daisy only wants what she has never learned to accept. This is truelove, 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." This is very wrong, and Daisy lives in misery her entire adult life in the middle of 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 see her almost as a victim of her own actions and misconceptions of life.

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