Daisy Buchanan Character Traits

What personality traits (e.g. superficial, materialistic) describe Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald?

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Whenever one analyzes a character, he/she should not overlook the significance of that character's name.  And, interestingly, F. Scott Fitzgerald employs flowers for the names of some of his ladies' names in his novel, The Great GatsbyDaisy suggests that the character appears pure and wholesome--the white petals--but her core of yellow/gold suggests the essence of her life contains the importance of wealth and position.  Thus, her idealistic appearance is false; her personality superficial as one of the "golden girls" of Fitzgerald's writings.  Daisy exists in a dream world with Tom Buchanan; her voice, Nick states, is

full of money--that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jungle of it, the cymbals' song of it.....High in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl.

Another allusion to Daisy's voice occurs in Chapter 5 in which Nick comments that it captivates Gatsby because of it

fluctuating, feverish warmth because it couldn't be over-dreamed--that voice was a deathless song.

Daisy's conversations with others are not only superficial, they are senseless.  At Gatsby's when he indicates a "human orchid of a woman," Daisy comments that she is "lovely," then she remarks that she has never met so many celebrities and she especially likes the man "with the sort of blue nose."  When Tom asks if she minds his eating with some people, Daisy "genially" replies, "Go ahead...if you want to take down any addresses here's my little gold pencil..."

Later on in the party, Nick comments that Daisy liked another who was "lovely," but "the rest offended her." In Chapter 7 Daisy kisses Gatsby with her husband witnessing the act.  When Jordan chides her as a "low, vulgar girl," Daisy replies, "I don't care!"  This uncaring attitude is certainly underscored when Daisy knowingly allows Gatsby to be suspected of the murder of Mrytle.

In the scene in Chapter 7 in which the young daughter enters the room, surprising Gatsby since Daisy has not even mentioned her, Daisy talks to her daughter in an affected manner:

'The Bes-sed pre-cious!  Did mother get powder on your old yellowy hair?  Stand up now and say How-de-do.'

'I go dressed before luncheon,' said the child, turning eagerly to Daisy.

'That's because your mother wanted to show you off.'....'You dream, you.  You absolute little dream.'

The dreamlike, illusive quality of Daisy is what is prevalent in her personality.  Perhaps, as the previous poster has suggested, Daisy chooses to exist in an illusion, a dream, a superficial world, figuratively drugging herself to keep from feeling the disappointment of a meaningless life.

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Concerning your question about Daisy in The Great Gatsby, you might want to consider a less judgmental view of Daisy.  Try this quote:

I woke up out of the ether [after delivering a baby] with an utterly abandoned feeling and asked the...

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lynnebh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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