Who is Daisy Buchanan? She can be described as superficial, shallow, fake and ditzy. However, there is another part of her, a deeper part, that she hides from everyone, including herself. Beneath the surface, there is a pool where not even light dares to go. That is her character, and it takes Jay Gatsby to churn the waters and bring the purest form of Daisy to the surface, if only for an instant. At a first glance, Daisy is an utterly flat character, she came from wealth, she is currently wealthy, and will have wealth in the future. She appears to be in a state of stasis. However, upon closer inspection, Daisy fluctuates between being shallow and deep, feeling and unfeeling. Although she does not undergo enough change to be classified as a round character, it is safe to say that she is a midpoint between flat and round, a rather complex personality. The reader catches glimpses of her true self in a multitude of instances, but none better than when she refers to her daughter’s birth. “’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’”(Fitzgerald, 17). This quote is much like Daisy herself. On the surface, it appears ridiculous and unreal, but underneath, it is one of the most profound statements that she makes. What Daisy truly means is that she herself is a fool, a useless little housewife following an extravagantly normal routine day after day. However, in many stories, including many of Shakespeare’s plays, the fool is a character with hidden wisdom and knowledge about life. The same applies for Daisy, her child, and all women of the era. In order to survive in a man’s world, a woman either had to ignore gender roles entirely and never marry or become so meek and innocent that no one suspected her true nature or married her right away. In the conventional definition of happiness for women, the latter was preferable, and thus, Daisy wished this curse of false happiness upon her daughter, because it is all she will ever know. Another aspect of Daisy’s character is her love of being pursued. In this sense, perhaps she represents the American Dream, an unattainable entity that chooses whether or not to accept the pursuer. The fascinating fact about Daisy being the unattainable dream, is that once someone has finally made themselves perfect by her standards, she still rejects them. If Daisy Buchanan is not winning the game of cat and mouse, she changes the rules. For example, when she first visits Gatsby’s castle of a house, she realizes that her poor lieutenant had finally reached her level. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before” (92). What Daisy actually means is that she has never seen Gatsby wearing such beautiful shirts before. By earning more money than god in a period of four years, Gatsby has almost achieved the American Dream, and thus Daisy. She fears to be attained, to be caught and used as a trophy for the man who achieved the American Dream. It is this fear that keeps her with Tom, because he is so ignorant that he doesn’t realize what she is. Like anything that is pursued, Daisy must have a shelter to hide in, to hide the hidden depths of her character. For if Daisy, the deepest and purest form of her, was ever permanently removed from the pool in which she hides, she would no longer be Daisy Buchanan, she would become a shadow, a figment of the imagination, that in the blink of an eye would disappear into a pink cloud and float away.
Is there any female character in American literature more coquettish and coveted than Daisy Fay Buchanan? She’s the most desirable debutante, the ever-evading maid. She’s warm, feverish, thrilling, intoxicating—a siren, an enchantress, a blossoming flower. She’s Galahad’s chalice; she’s Guinevere and Grail. She’s the quintessential Southern belle, cool in her white dress with her white mansion and her little white mobile. She’s the enchanted object, the great...
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