Homework Help

How does Daisy Buchanan represent/symbolize the American Dream, in "The Great Gatsby"?

user profile pic

sw123451 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM via web

dislike 0 like

How does Daisy Buchanan represent/symbolize the American Dream, in "The Great Gatsby"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:33 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Daisy Buchanan represents Gatsby's ideals -- she is the girl that he feels will complete his life. Before he goes off to war, they are attached, and he has every intention of marrying her when he returns. However, when he comes back, she has moved on to Tom. From that point on, he builds his fortune in order to win her. He moves into his house to be closer to her. He builds up a reputation of mystery and praise in order to entice her. She is his every desire. Yet, as Gatsby discovers, she is unobtainable. 

In this way, Daisy represents the American Dream, and shows the extreme disillusionment of the Lost Generation. If Gatsby can win Daisy, he will know that he has "made it." Everything about Daisy is related to wealth (her voice has money in it), easy (she lounges around the house most days), and position (the Buchanan's are well-respected members of their society). However, Daisy is an illusion. The closer Gatsby gets, the more he realizes that he cannot have Daisy. This is how Fitzgerald viewed the American Dream.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes