The Despicable Daisy Buchanan
The Despicable Daisy Buchanan
“On Wednesdays we wear pink”. Classic Mean Girls Regina George. Regina is the most beautiful, popular girl in school. Everyone seems to listen to her. But, under all her makeup, you can see she is also the meanest and ugliest of them all. In Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan is Regina George. Daisy is by far the most contemptible character in the entire novel. Despite her outer beauty, Daisy exemplifies true ugliness through her looks and ditziness, selfishness and materialistic focuses, as well as her bad morals and lack of responsibility.
Looking at Daisy, she appears gorgeous inside and out. She has the “full of money” voice that instantly draws people in like she is composed of good promises. But truly it is the complete opposite. The only promise Daisy’s voice has is the promise of leading more people under her spell. “I’ve heard it said that Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming” (9). Daisy has always been the belle of the ball as verified by her girlhood friend from Louisville, Jordan Baker. Daisy uses her physical appearance and flirty ways to gain attention for herself, showing her true colors. Daisy believes being her flirty and ditzy self is the way to gain people’s focus. She clearly has experience in these ways as proven when she talks about the daughter Pammy when she grows up: “I hope she’ll be a fool…that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (17).
Daisy’s number one focus in life is by far Daisy. Nothing else registers in her head besides herself and, of course, her money. Her materialistic attitude leads to brutal self-centeredness. Even at the young age of eighteen, materialism is the sole factor in the marriage choice of Tom. When Jay Gatsby, her poor first love, goes to war, Daisy promises to wait for him. However, shortly after he is gone, Daisy meets Tom Buchanan. Tom is from a social family who could promise her the wealthy lifestyle she desires.
This is all Daisy needs to know. She selfishly marries Tom, completely leaving Gatsby behind all for her own personal wealth. Even Gatsby recognizes her obsession with money. “She only married you because I was poor” (130). Although Gatsby did not see that as selfishness since Daisy is “perfect” in his eyes, her choice is without a doubt cold hearted. Throughout the book Daisy strings along two men; her husband, Tom, and her old love, Jay Gatsby, all for more narcissistic attention. “I did love him once—but I loved you too” (132).
Often, Daisy’s selfish ways and love of the almighty dollar lead to her horrible morals and avoidance of responsibility. When times get tough and things go wrong, Daisy hides behind her money and goes somewhere new, leaving behind the situation. For example, at the hotel Daisy gets put in the situation of having to pick between her two men, Tom and Jay. Right away, her first thought is to run away from the responsibility. “I won’t stand this! Oh, please let’s get out” (133). On the way home from the hotel, Daisy is driving Gatsby’s car through the Valley of Ashes and hits Myrtle Wilson, instantly killing her. Daisy, being her usual self, weeps and drives away from the scene, allowing Gatsby to take blame.
“But of course I’ll say I was” (143). Daisy, killing another human being and not owning up to it is heartless on so many levels. For her to be able to wake up the next morning and feel fine is wrong, proving her terrible morals. George Wilson, Myrtle’s husband, is extremely angry and out of control when he finds out the car that hit his wife belongs to Jay Gatsby. George, assuming he is to blame, shoots Gatsby and then himself, killing both. If Daisy would have stopped at the accident and owned up to the death of Myrtle, two more lives might have been saved. Even lower, Daisy does not attend the funeral of Jay Gatsby, a man who, in a sense, took a bullet for her. Daisy fled with Tom to a new location, leaving no address or anything behind.
Sometimes the people ugliest on the outside are the most beautiful on the inside, like Beauty and the Beast’s Beast. Although he is scary and hairy on the surface, he is sweet and kindhearted the deeper in you go. Other times, there are people like Daisy, the complete opposite. In the end Daisy reveals herself for what she really embodies. Despite how appealing and attractive she appears, her ugly side comes out the deeper the novel goes. She, as a person, is proven to use her looks all for the wrong reasons. She centers her life on money and selfish ways, has corrupt morals, and strongly lacks responsibility. Daisy Buchanan is by far the most contemptible and despicable character. Why wear pink on Wednesdays when it is the inside that really counts?
Subject: The Great Gatsby,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 28 September 2016
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