In one of the greatest works of the Twentieth Century, The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, there are many dynamic and round characters which greatly add to the story’s theme. One character, Daisy Fay Buchannon, is made essential by way of her relation to the theme. An integral part of the plot, Daisy conveys the meaning of the novel, with her multi-dimensional personality and her relation to the conflicts. Daisy Buchannon is a round and dynamic character with many different sides to her personality.
Early on in the book, she is portrayed as sweet and innocent. Her white and seemingly floating dress appeals to Nick in this way. She grew up as “the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville.” Even then she dressed in white. Daisy also keeps her daughter around as a show toy. Whenever company comes over, she beckons for the little girl to come and put on a little act for everyone. This is symbolic of Daisys life; she is kept in the closet until it’s time to show off for company, then she becomes radiant and personable. When everyone has gone, she is a bored housewife, of no importance to the world wondering aloud what she is going to do with the rest of her life. She appears to be bored yet innocent and harmless. Yet her innocence is false.
Simply a materialistic young girl and has little mind of her own is underneath all of that covering. Daisy rediscovers her love with Gatsby because of his nice shirts and large house. Daisy has been well trained in a rich family. She has grown up with only the finest material goods. When Gatsby failed to contact her, she went off and married another man, without evening having heard a word from Gatsby. All of these many and round characteristics add complications to the plot and dimension to the meaning she adds to the book.
The afore mentioned characteristics also help to create some of the main conflicts. Daisy was involved in the conflict between her and Tom. Tom had a mistress and Daisy was upset by it. Another conflict is her love affair with Gatsby. Her apparent sweetness and innocence allow Gatsby to fall in love with her. But her impatience and ignorance of true love or the meaning of truth or compassion allow her to flawlessly marry Tom, without a sober thought of Gatsby. He falls for her, which leads up to the further conflict. The conflict is, whether or not she will fall in love with Gatsby. Gatsby is still in love with her after five years. He hopes and dreams that she is too. This creates another conflict: Gatsby’s dream.
When Gatsby was seventeen, he dreamed of being rich and powerful. When he met Daisy, his dream changed. His goal was to see if he could reach his dream. This conflict helps to add up to the main theme. The way the conflicts created by Daisy help the theme are numerous. The most significant way is that she is the central corruption of Gatsby’s dream. The dream began as a simple bid for happiness. Yet Gatsby was corrupted by money. He believed that money would make him happy. When he became rich, his dream was then centered upon Daisy. He believed that Daisy was the only thing between him and happiness. This personifies the meaning being conveyed by Fitzgerald; the American dream has been corrupted by money.
Another theme is that everything is not as it appears. Daisy appears to be sweet, innocent, and intelligent. While underneath her “white dress” lays a corrupted inner self. She is crude and showy, all an act to attract people to her. This theme is displayed in almost every character. Everyone appears to be someone they’re not, just as people in the society of the 1920’s. With prohibition and the extremely active nightlife of the “Roaring 20’s,” everyone had something to hide. This is displayed in Gatsby, who is involved in the drug trafficking business — almost a mobster. Yet he appears to be simply a smart businessman.
Daisy contributes and is essential to the story through her personality, conflicts, and themes. Being a three- dimensional character, she is an excellent addition to the novel and greatly increases the meaning. Without her, the story would lack certain elements that are crucial to the theme.
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