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Elements of the "Other" in Daisy Buchanon/Fay.

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message 1: by Gary (last edited Mar 01, 2016 05:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary I'm compiling a list of references to Daisy in The Great Gatsby that characterize her as "Other" in one sense or another. As long as I'm at it, I might as well "think out loud" here on GR so anyone who has thoughts on the subject can chime in.

In the broadest sense, "Other" means things that differentiate her from the characters in the novel, but in more particular anything that would categorize her as "Other" to Fitzgerald or the people he perceived to be his audience. These kinds of things include religion, her physical appearance, strange or pointed comments from her or directed to her, etc. Anything that makes the character stand out.

Here's an outline (which I may revise as time goes on) for the categories of "Other" when it comes to the character, broken down into broad, and sometimes over-lapping categories/subjects:

I. The symbolism and etymology of her name.
A. "Daisy."
B. "Fay."
C. "Buchanon."
D. The combinations and implications raised by the combinations of those names.
II. Daisy's ethnic background.
A. Tom's "verbal tick" in Ch. 1.
B. Daisy's family.
III. The language used to describe Daisy
A. Physically.
1. Her beauty/physical appearance.
2. Her voice.
B. Her behavior.
1. Her dialogue.
2. Her actions.
IV. Daisy's sexuality.
A. Her sexual experience.
B. Marriage.
C. Motherhood.
D. Femininity.
V. How Daisy is perceived by other characters, particularly:
A. Nick.
B. Tom.
C. Gatsby.
D. Jordan.
E. The "minor" characters.



message 2: by Gary (last edited Mar 10, 2016 06:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary III. The language used to describe Daisy
A. Physically.
1. Her beauty/physical appearance.
2. Her voice.
Chapter 1:

They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.
...
I looked back at my cousin, who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered “Listen,” a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.
...
Daisy took her face in her hands as if feeling its lovely shape, and her eyes moved gradually out into the velvet dusk.

Chapter 2:

Daisy is spoken of, but does not appear in Chapter 2.

Chapter 3:

Daisy does not appear in Chapter 3 except in reference to Jordan.

Chapter 4:

She was just eighteen, two years older than me, and by far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville. She dressed in white, and had a little white roadster....
...
Perhaps Daisy never went in for amour at all — and yet there’s something in that voice of hers. . . .

Chapter 5:

The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment, up and down, with my ear alone, before any words came through.
...
Then from the living-room I heard a sort of choking murmur and part of a laugh, followed by Daisy’s voice on a clear artificial note: “I certainly am awfully glad to see you again.”
...
“We haven’t met for many years,” said Daisy, her voice as matter-of-fact as it could ever be.
...
“I’m glad, Jay.” Her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty, told only of her unexpected joy.
...
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”
...
His hand took hold of hers, and as she said something low in his ear he turned toward her with a rush of emotion. I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed — that voice was a deathless song.

Chapter 6:

They arrived at twilight, and, as we strolled out among the sparkling hundreds, Daisy’s voice was playing murmurous tricks in her throat.

“These things excite me so,” she whispered.
...
Daisy began to sing with the music in a husky, rhythmic whisper, bringing out a meaning in each word that it had never had before and would never have again. When the melody rose, her voice broke up sweetly, following it, in a way contralto voices have, and each change tipped out a little of her warm human magic upon the air.
...
His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

Chapter 7:

“But it’s so hot,” insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, “and everything’s so confused. Let’s all go to town!”

Her voice struggled on through the heat, beating against it, molding its senselessness into forms.
...
His hand, trembling with his effort at self-control, bore to his lips the last of his glass of ale. Daisy’s voice got us to our feet and out on to the blazing gravel drive.
...
“She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked. “It’s full of ——” I hesitated.

“Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.

That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money — that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. . . . high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. . . .
...
“You’re revolting,” said Daisy. She turned to me, and her voice, dropping an octave lower, filled the room with thrilling scorn: “Do you know why we left Chicago? I’m surprised that they didn’t treat you to the story of that little spree.”
...
“Please don’t.” Her voice was cold, but the rancor was gone from it.

Chapter 8:

Her porch was bright with the bought luxury of star-shine; the wicker of the settee squeaked fashionably as she turned toward him and he kissed her curious and lovely mouth. She had caught a cold, and it made her voice huskier and more charming than ever, and Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.

Chapter 9:

Daisy does not appear physically in Chapter 9.



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