Sunday, April 10, 2016

Daisy

In Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Daisy has the perfect name because her being so much resembles the flower, daisies, but only on the surface. As we read into chapter one, we discover that Daisy is very different from what Nick and Tom make her out to be. The daisy flower most often symbolizes purity, innocence, and joy. From the "rippling and fluttering" white dress, to her "bright eyes" and "bright passionate mouth" (Fitzgerald 8-9), Daisy sure seems very bright all around. Her bubbly personality shines through her words; Nick describes that "a stirring warmth flowed from her" (Fitzgerald 14). Fitzgerald even portrays her with a pinch of stupidity: "'Tom's getting very profound,' said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. 'He reads deep books with long words in them'" (Fitzgerald 13). Through Nick's lenses, she appears to be the girl with simple thoughts who does not dabble in "guys' endeavors". 


Yet, Daisy's facade soon disappears when she is out of Tom's presence. After Tom's alleged extramarital affair is revealed to us, our perspectives on Daisy shift, like Nick. Nick "saw that turbulent emotions possessed her" (Fitzgerald 16) after the phone incident of which Tom's mistress calls the mansion. Shortly after, when Daisy and Nick are alone, her true colors show. She talks about her child and Tom's absence. Daisy makes the comment, "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) about her child that strikes me. Under the surface of her innocence and simplicity lies wisdom and sense. Her statement tells me that she has experienced the other side of being a beautiful little fool. That event is very much part of the bad things she has gone through, which leads her to her cynical point of view.

Below are two thoughts I had while reading this chapter:
- Though Nick isn't extremely rich himself, he finds himself in comfort being around rich people. His comfort of being around so many rich people despite everything around him is unfamiliar is very strange.
- How I feel about the blatant sexism in this novel so far: ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?. At first, I thought Fitzgerald was very sexist through his descriptions because he portrayed women almost as commodities for me and very surface animals, but I soon scratched that out. It is only his portrayal of women through Nick's lenses that make them seem so. I appreciate Fitzgerald for portraying Daisy as a multidimensional female character who, beneath the surface, knows a lot more than she lets on. The exterior obedience that Daisy demonstrates to Tom is really annoying. Tom seems like an asshole. Also, both Daisy and Jordan get cut off, while speaking, by the men very often, which shows the inequality between men and women that exists. Both the women's absence of objection to those actions and the men's action of doing it in the first place demonstrates this inequality.

That's all I have for now. Thanks for tuning in! See you next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 comments:

  1. Awesome post, Elaine! Nice analysis on Daisy's name and personality in the beginning. I love your first reactions about the novel! The quote that "I hope she'll be a fool – that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool" struck me too when I read the first chapter, the amount of sexism and stereotyping is maddening. I still find it hard to see Daisy as a multi-dimensional character, but I guess we will discover more about her later. Excited to see your next posts! :)

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  2. Intriguing read, Elaine--Glad you noticed that there's more to Daisy than her exterior. Take another look at what she says after Tom drops his racist rant--she might actually be undercutting him!

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