In The Great Gatsby, was Daisy having an affair as well?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When I first read this question, I was absolutely stumped.  I taught this book for YEARS and no one EVER asked me that question.  Quite honestly, knowing the raging hormones of my students, I couldn't understand WHY.  Ha!  Thinking on it further, I have to admit that I have absolutely NO idea whether Daisy actually had "an affair" or not!  As readers, perhaps the great mystery of the Gatsby/Daisy get-togethers is so enthralling that our minds don't penetrate any further? Not sure.

Oh, mwestwood, I must agree with you saying "it is possible that she has engaged in intimate relations with Jay Gatsby by Chapter 7"!  The truth is, though, we have no way of knowing whether Daisy has had actual sex with Gatsby.  Why?  Because F. Scott Fitzgerald neglected to tell us in the text.  We can read between the lines and have fun supposing, though.

What was REALLY interesting was looking up the word "affair" in the dictionary.  Ironically, the meaning we are looking for here isn't mentioned, except in the context of a more minor definition (definition #3) which reads, "an event or a performance; a particular action, operation, or proceeding."  Hmmmmmm, a "particular action" or "operation," huh?  I suppose that's another way of saying it.  Ha!  It seems that you have to use two words: extramarital affair, to acquire the exact definition of "sexual intercourse with someone other than a spouse."

I have NO idea whether Daisy is guilty of such.  However, I knew enough to tell my mom where to get off when she told me that I should name my daughter Daisy "because it's such a pretty flower."  Um, .... no.

I hope she'll be a fool--that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.

No, Mom, ... just ... no.  We named her Annie instead.  I prefer spunky orphans to beautiful little fools.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daisy was not having an affair before she met Gatsby again at Nick's house. I suppose there may be some semantic differences between interpretations as to how to define an affair and thereby determine whether or not Gatsby and Daisy were carrying on "an affair" with one another. 

However, there is no evidence to suggest that Daisy was having an affair with anyone as the story opens.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Daisy does not conduct herself as does her husband, she certainly covets another man as she kisses him and tells Gatsby that she loves him.  Since she has spent time alone with him and Jordan calls her "What a low, vulgar gril!" it is possible that she has engaged in intimate relations with Jay Gatsby by Chapter 7.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gatsby wanted Daisy, but Daisy did not necessarily want Gatbsy.  Daisy wanted to be one of the important upper class.  Gatsby was new money, and not considered as important to those with old money.

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The Great Gatsby

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