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Reckless by Nature

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“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” (Fitzgerald 14). In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Daisy Buchanan is first introduced as Nick Caraway’s twice removed cousin, the wife of Tom Buchanan, and later as Jay Gatsby’s first love. Throughout the book, though her real character starts to unveil its self. Besides being materialistic, egotistical and shallow (“Scarface”) Daisy Buchanan is without a doubt reckless and that certainly reflects on the choices she makes. She continuously neglects to think through her choices and how they could possibly affect other people around her. Her recklessness and incapability of taking responsibility for her actions is the root of the problems that emerge throughout the entire book.

From the beginning we get the inkling that Daisy has some kind of previous relationship with Gatsby. When he is mentioned by Nick at her dinner party she curiously asks about him as if to determine if they are speaking of the same Gatsby that she knows. “’Gatsby?’ demanded Daisy. ‘What Gatsby?’”(Fitzgerald 15). This was just the very beginning of the reunion of Gatsby and Daisy that was soon to come. Once Gatsby was finally able to convince Nick to help reunite him and Daisy there was no turning back for him. Gatsby fell completely back in love with her just like no time has passed. Daisy, although claiming to be in love with him too, just plays along not taking into consideration the real depths of his feelings. The rekindling of their relationship was simply all a game to Daisy whereas it was everything to Gatsby. “As Gatsby remembers it, the fatal choice is his decision to commit himself to Daisy” (“Insatiable Girls” 3). Gatsby became so invested in Daisy and the idea that they could relive the past and Daisy was only interested in a fling between them that could also possibly make Tom jealous. Daisy’s pure disregard for Gatsby’s feelings shows her reckless nature because she did not even take Gatsby’s feelings into consideration. She used Gatsby for her benefit and merely leading him along all the while knowing that she was never going to leave Tom for some “bootlegger” and in fact she never did.
Many of the relationships between characters in The Great Gatsby are complex and almost uncanny for instance Tom’s affair with Myrtle. Daisy is completely aware of Tom’s unfaithfulness but yet she stays with him and they live as if there is no infidelity going on in their marriage. Although they may not confront each other directly on the issue Daisy uses Gatsby as a way to get a message across to Tom. Daisy’s reckless nature with her relationships is revealed when she flaunts around with Gatsby at the get together she has at her house with Tom, Nick, and Jordan. “As he left the room again she got up and went over to Gatsby, and pulled his face down kissing him on the mouth. ‘You know I love you,’ she murmured” (Fitzgerald 122-123). Daisy entirely disregards the fact that Tom was just in the other room getting a drink and puts Gatsby in jeopardy of being caught by Tom. It was as if Daisy wanted to be caught in spite of Tom and his affair but she did not consider how this could affect Gatsby’s life. Later on that day Tom of course finds out about Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship they had and were now continuing. This was inevitable outcome due to Daisy’s lack of discreetness. This enrages Tom so much that later that night he hints to Wilson that Gatsby owned the car that killed his wife Myrtle “He crushes his rival in a magnificent scene in which Gatsby is being tracked down for smuggling by special investigators and Tom manages to twist the situation in his favor by turning his dead lover's vengeful husband against Gatsby at the same moment” (F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby). One could say that if Daisy never flaunted her relationship with Gatsby around Tom that Gatsby would never have been killed. “Although she is careless in the way that people like Tom are carless in their wealth and treatment of other people” (“An Overview of The Great Gatsby).Daisy’s recklessness now seeped into her relationships and how she treats others along with everything else.
Daisy’s reckless actions come with plenty of consequences some greater than others. But the repercussions of those actions always seemed to fall on others rather than her. Her final act of destruction went so far to the point that there was no going back. “’Was Daisy driving?’ ‘Yes,’ he said after a moment, ‘but of course I’ll say I was’” (Fitzgerald 151). It went so far that Gatsby took the fall for Daisy because there is no going back after killing someone. Daisy had run over and killed Myrtle, Tom’s mistress. Instead of taking the blame for her recklessness she put Gatsby in the position to cover for her and take the aftermath to come which was indeed a hearty aftermath “That minute at the window is the last time Gatsby sees Daisy, because Daisy and Tom apparently were ‘conspiring together’. Daisy allows Tom to believe that Gatsby was driving the car when Myrtle Wilson was killed” (Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’). Myrtles husband, Wilson, completely consumed by rage went after the culprit of his wife’s death. “It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body a little a way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete” (Fitzgerald 170). Daisy’s recklessness now not only took Myrtle’s life but Gatsby’s too. “Fitzgerald seems to say that Daisy is the source of Gatsby’s doom…” (“Insatiable Girls” 3). The mere fact that Daisy never realized what her reckless actions did to others speaks so much of her character.
One can clearly see that Daisy has a massive impact in The Great Gatsby and the events that take place throughout. However this impact is clearly not a good one. Daisy’s reckless actions cause so much havoc in the lives of others, especially Gatsby’s. When you look back to the tragic events that happen in The Great Gatsby you can almost always link them to Daisy someway somehow. Among other things Daisy is undoubtedly reckless and it is an undeniable fact that is further proven throughout the reading of The Great Gatsby.




Works Cited

Giardini, Cesare. "F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby." ProQuest Learning: Literature. Web. <http://literature.proquestlearning.com/critRef/displayItem.do?QueryType=criticism&ResultsID=13612BA9C952&ItemNumber=10>.
Hermanson, Casie E. "An overview of The Great Gatsby." Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Literature Resource Center. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.
Roberts, Marilyn. "Scarface, The Great Gatsby and the American Dream." Literature/Film Quarterly 34.1 (2006): 71-78. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 210. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.
Sutton, Brian. "Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby." Explicator 59.1 (Fall 2000): 37-39. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Linda Pavlovski. Vol. 157. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.
Wershoven, Carol. "Insatiable Girls." Child Brides and Intruders. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993. 92-99. Rpt. inTwentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Linda Pavlovski. Vol. 157. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.





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