Daisy Miller Questions and Answers
by Henry James

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What are the differences between Daisy in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Daisy in Daisy Miller by Henry James?

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Daisy Buchanan is not innocent, but she makes every effort to appear innocent.  In fact, Daisy Buchanan is downright guilty, even murderous.  After committing a fatal hit and run, she sacrifices Gatsby in order to retain her innocence -- and her enormous wealth. By contrast, Daisy Miller 's innocence is far more pure, natural, and unprotected; certainly, Daisy Miller never kills anyone...

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In The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan begins happy in her marriage to Tom Buchanan, but after she discovers his infidelities, she withdraws into a dream world. She does however have an interest in Jay Gatsby During the interim, she meets Tom Buchanan and marries him. At first happy in this marriage, she later discovers that Tom is having affairs. She withdraws into a dream world, yet never loses interest in the illusion of her love with Gatsby. Daisy flirts with him and entertains his obsessive interest until she commits murder and he takes the rap. Then, she hides behind the protection of her husband, a cruel brute, who uses and abuses people. Moreover, Daisy's voice is the voice of money, as Nick discovers. Her whole careless world revolves around this illusion: that money makes everything beautiful, even if it is not. In short, she hides behind her money and the men in her life to protect here.

On the other hand, Daisy Miller is direct, independent and somewhat presumptuous.  She is charming and somewhat foolish; she demands independence but wants social approval; she is victimized but also contributes to her unfortunate destiny.