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...