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Rudyard Kipling

Daisy is based, somewhat loosely, on Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda. She is very beautiful, and hails from Louisville, Kentucky. Gatsby has fallen in love with her, and has a way to reconnect with her through Nick, who is her cousin. When Daisy was young she was highly popular with the military officers who were stationed in Louisville. Gatsby was one of those officers, but he did not feel he was worthy. In order to keep her interested in him, he lied extensively about his background, claiming to have come from a wealthy family and telling her many stories that were completely untrue. That helped to convince Daisy that he was really worthy of her love and attention. Eventually, he won her over. They made love, and then Gatsby was shipped off to fight in the war. Daisy had given him her heart, and she promised that she would wait for him to return to her.

In 1919 she changed her mind, and she married Tom Buchanan. He came from a wealthy, aristocratic family and was able to provide her the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. The decision was also supported by her parents. Once Gatsby learned of the marriage, he decided that he would dedicate himself to winning her back. She became the single goal and dream in his heart, and the motivation behind the criminal activity he used to acquire a high level of wealth. Daisy represented perfection to Gatsby. She is wealthy, graceful, sophisticated, charming, and aristocratic. Those were the kinds of things that he dreamed of when he was a child living in North Dakota, and the things about her to which he was first attracted. The reader can see, however, that Daisy really does not fit all of those ideals and should not be on the pedestal where Gatsby has placed her.

She truly is charming and beautiful, but she is also bored with her life, leading her to be shallow, fickle, and sometimes quite sardonic. Nick says that she is a person who will destroy things and then hide behind the money she has. When Daisy chooses Tom over Gatsby, she shows her true nature. She does the same thing when she lets Gatsby take the blame for the car accident that takes Myrtle's life. Daisy was driving the car, but she is not willing to admit to her mistake, especially when there is someone else who will agree to accept blame and let her get away, essentially, with murder. Instead of going to Gatsby's funeral, Tom and Daisy choose to move out of the area. They do not leave a forwarding address. Daisy is often compared to Fitzgerald's wife in that she was deeply in love with material things and the money to provide them to her. She is capable of caring for others when it suits her, but the sustained loyalty needed for a true, committed relationship is not in her heart and mind. Even her tiny, infant daughter is basically treated as though she is an afterthought. Daisy is used by Fitzgerald to represent amoral values in his conception of 1920s America.

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