Why does Daisy dislike West Egg in this passage from The Great Gatsby? There were the same people, or at least the same sort of people, the same profusion of champagne, the same many-colored,...

Why does Daisy dislike West Egg in this passage from The Great Gatsby?

There were the same people, or at least the same sort of people, the same profusion of champagne, the same many-colored, many-keyed commotion, but I felt an unpleasantness in the air, a pervading harshness that hadn't been there before. Or perhaps I had merely grown used to it, grown to accept West Egg as a world complete in itself, with its own standards and its own great figures, second to nothing because it had no consciousness of being so, and now I was looking at it again, through Daisy's eyes. It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Much of the reason Daisy dislikes West Egg in this passage from The Great Gatsby is that her brutal husband, Tom Buchanan, has accompanied her to Gatsby's party. As Nick, the narrator, comments, "Perhaps his presence gave the evening its particular quality of oppressiveness" (page 104). In other words, Tom is bothered that Daisy would attend Gatsby's party, and perhaps Tom is getting the sense that something has existed, and continues to exist, between his his wife and Gatsby.

In addition, as Nick comments, "It is saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment" (page 104). In other words, Nick has accepted West Egg and has even chosen to like it. Daisy, he feels, must find it inferior to her own life, and he is starting to experience and think about the way she feels. Nick wants Daisy to love West Egg and to love Gatsby by extension (as Gatsby is part of West Egg), but it's clear that she still finds her world with Tom in East Egg superior and more enticing. Gatsby still hopes at this point that she will be lured back to him, but perhaps Nick senses that Daisy will forever be part of the superior East Egg society and that she will never leave Tom for Gatsby. 

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daisy dislikes West Egg because she doesn't understand the people and ways she encounters at the party at Gatsby's West Egg mansion.

Daisy is accustomed to superficial relationships and easy money and drifting from place to place whenever she wished to do so. The guests at Gatsby's party were all new to her, which should have been exciting and full of opportunities for new discoveries. Instead, Daisy finds herself star-struck by the great number of celebrities present, and put off by Miss Baedeker and the "massive and lethargic woman" who attempted to invite Daisy to join her for golf. She was offended by the attitudes and actions of the people she met there because she couldn't relate to them. "She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand."

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question