Essay, Research Paper: Great Gatsby

Literature: The Great Gatsby

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Why did Daisy choose Tom in the end? In the novel "The Great Gatsby",
Daisy Buchanan was faced with an enormous decision. She had to choose between
Tom; her husband and Jay Gatsby; her lover. Gatsby seemed to be the ideal man of
his time. Fabulously wealthy, handsome, charismatic and intriguing, he seemed to
be able to offer everything a woman could want. All he wanted in return was
Daisy’s complete unconditional love. Tom, on the other hand could offer Daisy
money, security and freedom. Ultimately Daisy chose the latter. The roaring
20’s was an era of total decadence. The first World War had ended and industry
was booming. People were becoming millionaires overnight. There seemed to be no
end in sight to the prosperity. Although people were becoming rich quickly, old
money provided more privilege than new money. Tom Buchanan came from old money.
He was a Westerner who was renowned in college for both his football skills and
his supremely decadent lifestyle. The narrator states "His family were
enormously wealthy, even in college his freedom with money was a matter for
reproach-but now he’d left Chicago and come East in a fashion that rather took
your breath away: for instance, he brought down a string of polo ponies from
Lake Forest." Daisy chose to marry Tom because of his wealth and power.
Fitzgerald writes "There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his
position and Daisy was flattered." He could offer Daisy prestige in
addition to all the old money one could dream of. Gatsby had made his money by
illegal means. He was a nobody from nowhere and although he was rich beyond
belief, he was one of the hundreds of nouveau riche who lacked the cache of the
old money set. Although Gatsby could offer Daisy romance, love, excitement and
intrigue, her need for security freedom and money made her eventually choose
Tom. In terms of security, Tom could offer much more than Gatsby. Tom’s old
money could offer Daisy prestige and social position whereas Gatsby’s money
was quickly and somewhat questionably earned. Everyone including Daisy realized
that it could be just as quickly lost. Tom states "I found out what your
drug-stores were. He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street
drug-stores here in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter" . Tom
also said "That drug-store business was just small change but you’ve got
something on now that Walter’s afraid to tell me about." This proves that
Gatsby’s money was achieved through corrupt means and his lack of position
would leave him vulnerable to prosecution if he were to be caught. On the other
hand, Daisy and Tom’s elite position in society enabled them to "get away
with murder". They were able to move away and start anew after hitting
Myrtle in the car. Due to the wealth and power of Tom and Daisy, they were able
to live with a substantial amount of freedom. They were able to tear apart the
lives of people and move on without as much as a backward glance. Nick’s
judgment of them was "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed
up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast
carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people
clean up the mess they had made." Daisy’s selection of Tom over Gatsby
afforded a somewhat unorthodox freedom. Tom had many mistresses but always
returned to Daisy. He said "Once in a while I go off and make a fool of
myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time."
Daisy also loved the luxury of having both a husband and a lover but Gatsby
would not allow it. He wanted all of her and she could not give that to him. She
said "Oh, you want too much. I love you now- isn’t that enough."
Although Gatsby could have offered Daisy a variety of things such as romance,
love and excitement, she ultimately chose Tom because of her selfishness. She
grew up with old money, security and freedom and was not willing to give it all
up for love. I believe that the author chose the name Daisy because Daisy in
Latin means the day’s eye or the sun and everything revolves around the sun.
Daisy does not care about anyone else and she believes that everything revolves
around her!
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