Comparing Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby and Brett of The Sun Also Rises

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Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby and Brett Ashley of The Sun Also Rises

Written right after the publication of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is apparently influenced in many ways. The most obvious of Fitzgerald's influence is manifested in Hemingway's portrayal of his heroine, Brett Ashley. Numerous critics have noted and discussed the similarities between Brett and Daisy Buchanan, and rightly so; but the two women also have fundamental differences. Compared to Daisy, Brett is a more rounded, complex character, and Hemingway has treated her with more sympathy than Fitzgerald has with Daisy. Some similarities between Brett Ashley and Daisy Buchanan include their physical beauty, their extravagant/ flamboyant lifestyle, and their unhappy marriages. However, their most important similarity is the destructive influence they have on their suitors.

Daisy attracts Jay Gatsby with her beauty--not only her physical appearance, but also the entire carefree, comfortable, luxurious lifestyle:

Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor (157).

To Gatsby the rich life is temptingly desirable because it was equaled to Daisy herself. Her life far detached from the sweaty hard struggling seems to hold as much enchanted beauty as she holds for Gatsby. He falls in love with that beauty, and Daisy has become his one and only goal and dream in life. With this, Fitzgerald is putting the blame for Gatsby's fall--his indulgence in the wrong dream, and his wrong choice of means to achieve his end--on Daisy.

But t...

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... S. "Brett and Her Lovers." Brett Ashley. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1991. 105-122.

Martin, Wendy. "Brett Ashley as New Woman in The Sun Also Rises." New Essays on The Sun Also Rises. Ed. Linda Wagner-Martin. Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1987. 65-82.

Works Consulted:

Hemingway, Ernest. "The Unpublished Opening of The Sun Also Rises." (5-8).

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Letter to Ernest Hemingway (June 1926)." (8).

Whitlow, Roger. "Bitches and Other Simplistic Assumptions." (148-156).

Cohen, Milton A. "Circe and Her Swine." (157-165).

Bloom, Harold. Brett Ashley. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1991.

McCay, Mary A. "Fitzgerald's Women: Beyond Winter Dreams." (311-324).

Fleischmann, Fritz, ed. American Novelists Revisited: Essays in Feminist Criticism. Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1982.

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