Using quotes from the book, how is Daisy affected by materialism in the Great Gatsby?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Daisy Buchanan, from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, is a very materialistic woman. Not only does she marry Tom Buchanan, a wealthy man, she believes that money makes everything better. Her ideologies about wealth, and the fact that she pays dearly for her wealth and fails to care, shows her obsession with financial stability. In a sense, regardless of how badly Tom treats her, she fails to care. Instead, she holds tightly to the idea that money is the cure-all for everything.

Daisy is not humble about her wealth. Many times, her dialogue points out that she is consumed with money.

"I've been everywhere and done everything." While many would take this as positive, and highlighting the fact she has money, Daisey's "confession is deeper than materialistic. She has faced a lot. Granted, it was her choice to marry Tom, but the money he possesses weighs far more important than the abusive life she lives. (Quote taken from chapter one.)

"It makes me sad because I've never seen such--such beautiful shirts before." This quote proves Daisy's materialism. It is not the abuse she sees which makes her sad. Instead, a simple shirt makes her sad. The beauty of the shirt should not impact her the way it does. Again, Daisy brings up the fact that she had seen and done everything (prior to this quote). The idea that she had not seen a specific shirt before illuminates her materialistic nature. (Quote taken from chapter five.)

Essentially, Daisy is only happy when she has "things." Her love is abusive, she is not with the man she truly loves, and her life is falling around her. Unfortunately, Daisy's materialism is far more important than any of this. Her materialism proves that she is ignoring the things which really matter.


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