Daisy and Gatsby come from completely opposite ends of the class spectrum, and to Daisy, her reputation to the upper class is the most important thing. She is constantly looking for achievements to seem worthy of envy to her ‘friends’.
PROOF ONE: Why did Daisy Marry Tom?
“Tom and Daisy’s common denominator was money and an upper class position in society. Daisy did not marry Gatsby even though they were in love because he was poor. She and Tom were in love at one point as well but he had the money to provide her with the lifestyle she was accustomed to. Tom and Daisy were not only concerned with the money, but everything that went along with being wealthy.They were in love with the idea of what their marriage represented.” (1)
– “The Great Gatsby” Analysis of the relationship between Tom and Daisy
Daisy chose Tom because to her he represented a secure social position and the wealth she was accustomed to. Daisy believed that Tom could make her happy because he represented things that made her happy besides love, like material things and money. But Daisy can never be happy with Tom because when she married him, she objectified him into the things he gave her; the expectations of Tom that she constructs in her head are mostly made of the gifts she has received, rather than Tom’s actual personality and morals.
PROOF TWO: Daisy and Tom’s Marriage as a Social Achievement
“In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.”
– The Great Gatsby pg. 91
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan in the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby
This quote shows how Daisy married Tom because she saw him as an ‘achievement’.Tom showered Daisy with gifts, and the only reason she married him was because of what he represented. She loves Tom because Tom gives her security in everything she enjoys and wants. Despite loving Gatsby, and attempting to call off her wedding to Tom, Daisy finally marries him because she knows that she wont have to live ‘sparingly’, as Tom can provide her with every materialistic thing she could ever want, and will be able to protect her from the harsh world with his money. Where as Gatsby, a poor soldier, could never give her any of these things. This quote shows how to Daisy and her family, marrying someone as accomplished and rich as Tom is an achievement. Even Jordan, who is talking, sees it as an accomplishment, praising Tom for making the wedding so decadent and being so loving to Daisy on the day.
PROOF THREE: Her Inability to Live in and Enjoy the Present
“What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon?” cried Daisy, “and the day after that, and the next thirty years?” – The Great Gatsby, pg. 141
This quote shows how Daisy is always looking forward; she is constantly trying to think of the next thing she will do in her life. Fitzgerald was trying to portray how the American dream is flawed, and by portraying Daisy as someone who can’t seem to focus on the present and appreciating what she has, he shows how people often ruin experiences by instead focusing on what is coming next. Daisy is also used to represent a flaw in the American dream, being that she (and the entire upper class) will never accept Gatsby and all he has achieved because they think that he doesn’t truly belong with them.
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan
IN CONCLUSION: In the end, Daisy will, and can, never be happy because she is too focused on achievements, social status, and what she will do next. The character represents how even though she is born with, and has, everything money could buy, she will never be happy because she simply wants more.Daisy Buchanan on the night before her wedding. In this scene, she is trying to call off her marriage to Tom because she loves Gatsby.
For further study of Daisy Buchanan, check out this link to an article about her character.