How is Daisy cynical in The Great Gatsby?  

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Joaquin Bednar eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter one, Daisy characterizes herself as cynical. She tells Nick:

She hesitated. “Well, I’ve had a very bad time, Nick, and I’m pretty cynical about everything.”

Evidently she had reason to be. I waited but she didn’t say any more

Daisy says this after reminding Nick that he did not attend her wedding to Tom Buchanan. Nick reminds her this is because he was not yet back from the war. Daisy does not explain why she is cynical, but this example of her questioning Nick's reason for avoiding the wedding is just the first example.

Nick changes the subject to Daisy's daughter, and so we see another example of Daisy's cynicism:

It’ll show you how I’ve gotten to feel about—things. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling

Daisy discusses gender roles, and how she hopes her daughter will be a "beautiful little fool." We see that Tom was not with her during the birth, leaving Daisy to feel alone. Perhaps Daisy is cynical because men have a freedom she does not feel she has.

This first chapter introduces us to Daisy and her cynicism. We see examples of this later in the novel, such as when Nick invites her to his house alone, and...

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