In The Great Gatsby, what do you make of Daisy’s hope for her daughter, that she be “a beautiful little fool?” Thank you!

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Pammy, Daisy's daughter, is rarely mentioned in The Great Gatsby. In fact, her name occurs only one time. Daisy may have had genuine feelings for Gatsby, but her marriage to Tom was likely born out of convenience (Tom had money) more than genuine love. This becomes clear when we learn that Tom is having an affair and Daisy is quick to rekindle a relationship with Gatsby. Daisy speaks sarcastically of her life, saying she's so sophisticated. She is aware that her life decisions have been guided by monetary concerns. She is therefore quite unhappy and a bit emotionally unstable, an upper class beauty realizing that life did not turn out the way she intended. 

Daisy claims she wants her daughter to be a fool. If Pammy follows Daisy's path, she hopes Pammy is foolish enough to be unaware of how empty her life would become. Daisy is sardonic. When she's cheerful, it seems to be an act. If she were a fool, she wouldn't be smart enough to realize how empty her life is. 

Daisy has a nurse take care of her daughter. The way she speaks to her in Chapter 7 indicates a cold, distant relationship. Daisy tells Pammy she wants to show her off. “How do you like mother’s friends?” Daisy turned her around so that she faced Gatsby. “Do you think they’re pretty?” Daisy treats Pammy (and the guests) like objects of art. 

Daisy might be a decent mother if she would be more involved in Pammy's life. Their affluent lifestyle allows them to hire a nurse, but this can often be (and here, it is) a detriment to the relationship. 

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