Gatsby Daisy Portrait Essay
Alexis Romano Mr. Emra Honors American Literature (5) 23 January 2012 Portrait of Daisy Buchanan Wife of Tom Buchanan, cousin (once removed) of Nick Carraway, and love interest of Jay Gatsby are all titles once held by Daisy Buchanan, an intriguing character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic “The Great Gatsby. ” Throughout the novel, Daisy oozes thoughtlessness; she has an unspoken essence of charm, but once she gets the attention she craves she acts on another personality trait of hers, her frivolous disregard for other people’s emotions.
While these characteristics are part of what define Daisy, a more fitting description of Daisy’s essence would be her practicality. In the first chapter, Daisy hopes that her daughter will be less commonsensical than she is, in chapter eight the reader finds out that Daisy was under the impression that Gatsby came from a wealthy background, and again in the eighth chapter, the issue of Daisy’s undying astuteness rears it’s head. Within the first seventeen pages of the novel, Fitzgerald has already addressed Daisy’s need to remain grounded and realistic.
After giving birth to her daughter, Pammy, Daisy remarks: “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool. ” Daisy is hoping that her daughter never develops the everlasting practicality that she was cursed with. At this point in the story, Daisy has already sent her “Dear John” letter to Gatsby, and begun a relationship, then marriage with the well off Tom Buchanan.
Daisy is wishing that she had been less pragmatic and more foolish by taking a chance and staying with Gatsby rather than being safe and marrying Tom. Daisy hates that she cannot allow herself to be happy with Gatsby without the security of Tom’s money. By hoping for a foolish daughter Daisy is hoping for Pammy to make decisions based on love and whatever makes her happy rather than the seemingly fundamental things that Daisy was concerned with. Even Gatsby knew that Daisy was a very ground minded individual who always ad the future in mind; he loved her regardless. “He had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself—that he was fully able to take care of her. “ Gatsby understood Daisy enough to know that without a promise of wealth, Daisy wouldn’t allow herself to associate with him, so as to avoid any impractical romance beginning with a man who couldn’t support her style of living later in life.
She began her romance with Gatsby under the false pretense that he had the amount of money necessary for Daisy to live comfortably, which was the number one priority on her list. Daisy did not realize that she was living unrealistically, so her obsession with remaining grounded and practical was not a problem. Also in chapter eight, Nick (the narrator) tells how “there was a quality of nervous despair in Daisy’s letters. ” While Gatsby was in the war, Daisy was left to examine every possible blemish in their relationship.
At any moment while he was abroad Gatsby could have changed his mind about loving Daisy, which brought out Daisy’s most circumspect mindset. This point in the novel shows how despite being in love with Jay Gatsby, Daisy will not allow herself to fully be with a man who cannot take care of her. Another point in chapter eight where her levelheadedness is evident is when Nick brings up what Daisy wanted: “She wanted her life shaped now, immediately—and the decision must be made by some force—of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality—that was close at hand. It is clear that while Daisy really did believe in love and wished to find it, she was much too practical, allowing money to be just as crucial to the relationship as the chemistry between herself and either Tom or Gatsby. Daisy eventually chooses between real unadulterated love and her perpetual practicality by dating, and later marrying Tom Buchanan. “Doubtless there was a certain struggle and a certain relief. Although Daisy doesn’t have feelings as strong for Tom as she does for Gatsby she allows the aspect of money to sway her opinions on which man to be with, once again showing how painfully prudent she is. While reading “The Great Gatsby” it was easy to fall into Fitzgerald’s trap of becoming emotionally invested in the story. I became a close friend of Gatsby (my favorite character), rooting for him in his relationship with Daisy, his friendship with Nick and any and all of his shady business endeavors. Being so biased in Gatsby’s favor makes it hard for me to determine whether or not I liked or disliked Daisy.
On one hand, she didn’t have the strength to take a chance and follow her heart, by waiting for Gatsby while he fought in the war; but on the other hand she was able to make unromantic, unidealistic decisions to ensure that in the future she would be taken care of and protected, which I can respect. Ultimately, I think that my loyalty to my dear friend, Gatsby, overpowers my respect for Daisy’s businesslike way of decision making, leaving me to decide that there were more moments in the novel when I disliked Daisy than moments when I had respect for her ability to make difficult decisions.