Daisy = Paris? (Gatsby)

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"Gatsby and I in turn leaned down and took the small reluctant hand.  Afterward he kept looking at the child with surprise.  I don't think he had ever really believed in its existence before." (Fitzgerald 117)

Like Gatsby, I didn't really believe in Daisy's daughter's existence until she made a brief cameo in this chapter.  If I remember correctly, Daisy's daughter has only been mentioned twice before.  Even then, it was just a brief statement or two.  Whenever Daisy does seem to mention her daughter though, it's not in a maternal sense.  Instead, whenever ever I have heard Daisy speak of her daughter I have gotten the image of Paris Hilton and her little dog.  The child seems like a fashion statement to Daisy.  Especially at this time, it would be traditional to have children.  So the Buchanan's have a daughter because it looks good in society, but neither Tom nor Daisy show any real interest in their child.  Overall, Daisy reminds me more of a teenager rather than an adult and a mother.  Daisy is the cheerleader dating Tom the football player, and while she has a crush on the awkward, geeky Gatsby, she can only have a secret fling with him in order to protect her reputation.  The people in Daisy's life seem more like frivolous objects that only matter as to how they reflect on her rather than people that she truly cares about.

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Nathan Hart said:

This part of the story was really just strange to me. Daisy referred to her daughter as “bles-sed pre-cious”, I don’t know about you but that reminds me of Lord of the Rings, and Golem and how he refers to the ring as “my precious”. The way she refers to her daughter in this way is very strange, like she is more of a possession instead of her daughter.

“The bles-sed pre-cious! Did mother get powder on your old yellow hair? Stand up now, and say –How de-do.” One thing that really sticks out to me in this statement is that she says “old” yellow hair. Why does she refer to her young daughter’s hair as “old”? I don’t have an answer to this question. It puzzled me. Also in this part of the story, Daisy tries to make it quit clear that her daughter looks like her and not Tom, probably in hopes that Gatsby will want to take them both with him so he can leave Tom.

That's an interesting observation, Nate. How far would you be able to take it, in terms of helping you to understand the story Fitzgerald wants to tell? Do you feel Daisy is obsessed with her daughter the way Gollum is obsessed with the ring? How likely it is that Fitzgerald might be making a reference to The Lord of the Rings? What information would we need in order to be sure?

Rachael Sarver said:

Really good point! Your analogy about cheerleaders and football players really brings it all home. I guess this is another example of Foster's idea of their only being one story. We think of moms today as nurturing, caring, active mothers but it does seem like Daisy only had a child because thats what women were supposed to do.

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