In the end of "The Great Gatsby," who ends up getting Daisy? Does she choose Tom or Jay Gatsby? Why?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daisy really had no plan to ever leave Tom for Gatsby.  She enjoyed the attention she was receiving and also enjoyed the idea that she was getting revenge on Tom.  But she admits herself that she does love Tom, and her attitude and behavior in the hotel stand-off proves that she is grand-standing, and not serious in her affair with Gatsby.

First, she doesn't want Gatsby to reveal the affair:

“I’ve got something to tell YOU, old sport——” began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention.

“Please don’t!” she interrupted helplessly. “Please let’s all go home. Why don’t we all go home?”

Next, she hesitates to even try and deny Tom:

I never loved him,” she said, with perceptible reluctance.

When Gatsby starts to push the issue, Daisy breaks:

“Oh, you want too much!” she cried to Gatsby.

When Gatsby says that Daisy is leaving, and Tom laughs, that is the only time she tries to suggest that she wants to go.  And it is only in reaction to Tom's disbelief - she wants Tom to react, to fight for her.  Here is her quote:

“I am, though,” she said with a visible effort.

Finally, she begs Tom to stop the argument - not Gatsby:

The voice begged again to go.

“PLEASE, Tom! I can’t stand this any more.”

Her frightened eyes told that whatever intentions, whatever courage, she had had, were definitely gone.

Gatsby was never good enough for her, even with his money, as was clear at his parties.  He just doesn't have status.

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daisy ends up going back to her husband. The safety of the life she knows wins out over a life with Gatsby. Tom revealed the fabric of lies that Gatsby had told, and in doing so, made Daisy realize that she could never be with a bootlegger. It wasn't just important that he had a lot of money, but it was even more important the way he made money.

Social position was very important to Daisy, and it would be a stretch for her to live down a divorce, but she would never be able to live down being  a criminal's wife.

tjkaup | Student

At the end of The Great Gatsby, Daisy is back with her husband, Tom.  This tragic outcome is an appropriate finale for Jay Gatsby, the poor boy who longed to be rich, and once becoming rich is still not "good enough" for the wealthy, spoiled, and beautiful Daisy, the woman he had longed for since their first meeting.  The woman who couldn't marry him then because "rich girls don't marry poor boys."  The tragic death of Tom's mistress is mistakenly blamed on the rich playboy, Jay, who is murdered by her distraught, wretched husband.  A tragic ending to a tragic doomed tale of love.

melissa1106 | Student

In the end of the novel, Daisy chooses Tom over Gatsby. She loved Gatsby but she chooses the economic stability of Tom. When Gatsby dies, she does not even attend his funeral or even send flowers. She moves away with Tom and what she had with Gatsby was left in the past. 

Wiggin42 | Student

In the end Daisy ends up choosing Tom over Gatsby. The reasons are simple enough. The passion Daisy and Gatsby shared was in the past and Daisy had moved on. Of course seeing him again rekindled the romance to an extent but not enough for any dramatic change. Besides, its obvious that Gatsby held Daisy to such a high expectation that she could never really fulfill. The relationship was an illusion; a dream. 

udonbutterfly | Student

In the end Daisy ends up going back with her husband. Daisy was only messing with Gatsby in retaliation to Tom's cheating. Daisy was all in it for the attention because she was dying for husband to pay attention to her and acknowledge that he wanted her to be his. Although I have to say I think she still had some feelings for Gatsby but they were not enough she already had an established life, and a family.

mlb4425 | Student


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The Great Gatsby

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