In The Great Gatsby, what does Daisy mean when she says, "I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool--that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool"?  

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Daisy's remarks about her daughter's birth in Chapter One come after the telephone has rung "startingly" during Nick's first visit and invitation to dinner at the Buchanan mansion. Hearing the phone, Daisy has frowned and shaken her head. As Daisy and Nick converse, he notes that "turbulent emotions possessed her," so he asks her about her little girl.

"We don't know each other very well, Nick...Well, I've had a very bad time, Nick, and I'm pretty cynical about everything."

Having said this, Daisy explains that as she tells him about when Pammy was born, "It'll show you how I've gotten to feel about--things." At the time the baby was born, her father was not present and could not be reached. Daisy tells Nick that when she came out of the ether, she felt abandoned; she asked the nurse the baby's gender. When the nurse replied that the baby was a girl, Daisy turned her "head away and wept," saying that she hoped the girl would be a fool.

Obviously, the marriage between Daisy and Tom Buchanan is not a happy or fulfilling one, and Daisy feels that she is not respected or loved. In her cynicism, she decides that if her daughter is a "fool," she probably will not become aware of her men's philandering or abandonment as Daisy has tearfully been, and, therefore, will not suffer as Daisy has.


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