Character of Daisy Buchanan in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essays

Character of Daisy Buchanan in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essays

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To the casual fan of Fitzgerald, it may be tempting to equate Daisy with Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. After all, she was his wife and apparent love of his life. In actuality, though, Daisy is a composite of Zelda and Fitzgerald's first great, unrequited love, Generva King; in fact, in a number of ways, Fitzgerald's characterization of Daisy tends to favor Generva. Before delving further into this topic, however, it is important to note that Fitzgerald was, in the words of Bruccoli, "an impressionistic realist who evoked, by means of style and tone, the emotions or sensory responses associated with places and events" (Bruccoli). For this reason, while the reader may find significant parallels between Fitzgerald's characters and people he actually knew, as well as events in his books and events in his own life, the reader must stop short of drawing direct connections. As the litany of geographical and chronological errors in his works suggests, Fitzgerald was rarely if ever interested in meticulously describing facts. So, while Daisy may significantly resemble Generva and Zelda, it is, I think, going a bit too far to consider her a literal combination of the two.

In the interest of Fitzgerald's approach - "impressionistic realism" - we must first get a sense of the kind of person Daisy is before we can relate her to anyone else. Unlike Jordan, Tom, and Gatsby, Nick is almost never alone with Daisy and so lacks any appreciable amount of insight into her personality. He almost always sees her through the adoring but grandiose eyes of Gatsby; her manner, then, comes across as having "in it...all the promise of the world" (Dyson 272). As intoxicating as her demeanor is, everything about her refers to the past or the future, as wh...


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...he Publishing Process and the Correction of
Factual Errors - with Reference to The Great Gatsby." F. Scott Fitzgerald
Centenary at the University of South Carolina. Available Online:
http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/essays/right.html

Crawford, Dr. Wayne. "Daisy." Centers of Interest in The Great Gatsby: A Reader's
Companion Site." Available Online:
http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfwc/wiu/gatsbyone.html

Dyson, A.E. "The Great Gatsby: Thirty-Six Years After." F. Scott Fitzgerald: Critical
Assessments. Ed. Henry Claridge. Vol. II. East Sussex: Helm Information Ltd.,
1991. 270-81.1992.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1925. 1995 ed.

Meyers, Jeffrey. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.

Smith, Dinitia. "Love Notes Drenched In Moonlight." The New York Times. 8
September 2003. E1, E5.

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