How is Daisy cynical in The Great Gatsby?  

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In The Great Gatsby, one example of Daisy's cynicism is evident when she tells Nick the narrator about the birth of her daughter.

She explains how dissappointed she was when the baby turned out to be a girl instead of a boy.  She tells Nick that she mentally gave in to her daughter's fate.  Very well, then, she says, her daughter must grow up to be a beautiful little fool.  That's the only hope for a female. 

The idea is that Daisy, and her daughter, are women in a man's world.  Women had only recently even received the right to vote.  Divorce laws were heavily weighted in favor of males.  Education was rare for females.  Daisy suggests that the only way for a female to get ahead in American life at the time is to marry wealthy, to be a beautiful little fool, look pretty, do what a man tells her, and marry wealthy.  The American Dream is limited only to men.  The only way women can take part, according to Daisy, is to marry a wealthy man. 

That's what Daisy had to do, of course, and she regrets that her daughter will have to do the same.

Of course, only some wouldcall this cynicism.  Others would say it's realism. 

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