Time will not necessarily lead to an increase in happiness, but rather to an initial level of satisfaction, which should be accompanied by the same level of happiness before the event. This idea can be translated into a marriage between Tom and Daisy; unhappy with her wedding, she ‘… cried and cried’ (Fitzgerald 83), ostensibly because she realized that being with Gatsby was no longer possible, and so knew on some level that Tom’s money would not make her happy. Barry Schwartz agrees with the paradoxical relationship between money and happiness in his review of Meier’s American paradox, where he says that wealth ‘fills our bellies but leaves us spiritually hungry’ (Schwartz 74).
It is personified in the character of Fitzgerald Daisy.
In the novel, Nick testifies to his ‘great carelessness’ (Fitzgerald 186) and his seemingly neglected relationship with his own daughter, Pammy. Although there is no clear relationship between happiness and money – in any case, Myers states that ‘[h] fitness is not the result of being rich’ (Myers 134), a statement that is largely embodied in Daisy.
Daisy’s life exemplifies the post-war hysterics and the hedonistic pursuit of good times: ‘[t] hey moved with a fast crowd, all young and rich and wild, but came out with a perfectly perfect reputation’ (Fitzgerald 84). It speaks of a capricious and deceptive personality, and it certainly helps financially to avoid social embarrassment. This critique of the current state of society is thinly veiled, but Fitzgerald’s writing has an elegance and subtlety to it. The upper classes, and in particular those members of society who are the heirs of great wealth, are targeted as an opposition to the American Dream itself, and this is portrayed in the Great Gatsby thanks to Daisy’s incredible ability to emerge from any non-governmental situation.
Daisy’s self-determined ‘sophistication’ (FitzGerald 24), or rather, the indifference to most things, including her own daughter, underscores another aspect of the American dream. In the sense that it is not only the accumulation of material values - home, car, polo-pony and expensive clothing – but also the spiritual fulfillment and happiness of the individual, his continuity and uncharacteristic behavior prevents him from achieving even this fundamental part of the American dream. Myers discusses the relationship between money and happiness in his book, where he proposes that ‘… the richer we become, the less satisfied we are, the […] the American dream has been destroyed’ (137). The character of Daisy is, in fact, a study of the misfortune caused by the lack of personal, intellectual and ideological self-realization11. Despite her extremely rich lifestyle, she feels overwhelmed in terms of meeting Gatsby’s emotional expectations. Her inability to fully devote herself to herself is due to her own insecurity and emotional indifference as a result of life’s negligence.
Accordingly, some scholars argue that her corruption is more serious than Tom’s, in the sense that she disguises her in an atmosphere of elegance and promise. For example, Bewley accuses her of ‘horrific moral indifference’ and claims that she has a ‘vicious void’ (quoted in Parson 250). This is shown in the novel in her shallow and seemingly nonexistent relationship with her daughter, as we see in