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Compare and contrast the characters of Daisy and MyrtleWhat is Fitzgerald revealing...

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rachelalbers | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 27, 2010 at 9:41 AM via web

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Compare and contrast the characters of Daisy and Myrtle

What is Fitzgerald revealing through these similarities and differences?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted January 27, 2010 at 9:01 PM (Answer #1)

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The most obvious difference is that Daisy is rich and was raised in a wealthy family so she wears her wealth with ease.  Myrtle was not raised with wealth and is married to man with very little money.  She yearns for wealth and thinks that putting on airs is a sign of having money.  Daisy and Myrtle are both unhappy women, however.  Myrtle longs for an easy life and she thinks money can bring her that.  Her world is framed by her narrow perceptions and her limited experiences in life.  On their way into the city in chapter two, she has Tom buy her a copy of the "Town Tattler" newspaper - a gossip rag.  This shows the reader that celebrity gossip is important to Myrtle.  She probably thinks that knowing what is going on with the rich and famous is the same as being among the rich and famous.  Myrtle feels that she's been cheated in life because she married a poor man.  She is frustrated and naively thinks that Tom would actually leave his wife for her.  Daisy is just as unhappy in her marriage to Tom and she, like Myrtle, is having an affair with another man.  Daisy's unhappiness springs from her own fickle nature. She loved Jay Gatsby, but did not wait for him.  She allowed herself to be swept away by Tom's adoration and attention. In truth, she probably subconciously saw that she and Tom were much alike and would have a more stable long-term relationship than she and Jay would have.  Daisy knows Tom cheats on her and she knows she is stuck in the marriage because it is one of convenience and it is one of similarity of nature because she and Tom are so much alike.  Daisy yearns for love as Myrtle yearns for money.  Both women are irresponsible and self-centered.  Myrtle doesn't care that she is cheating on and hurting her husband.  Daisy doesn't care that she is using Jay to fulfill her loveless life despite the fact that she is giving Jay false hope for a true relationship.  Just like Tom would never leave Daisy for Myrtle, Daisy would never leave Tom for Jay.  Ultimately, Myrtle and Daisy are far more alike than they are different.

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