Gatsby seemed to be the ideal man ofhis time. Fabulously wealthy, handsome, charismatic and intriguing, he seemed tobe able to offer everything a woman could want. All he wanted in return wasDaisy’s complete unconditional love. Tom, on the other hand could offer Daisymoney, security and freedom.
Ultimately Daisy chose the latter. The roaring20’s was an era of total decadence. The first World War had ended and industrywas booming. People were becoming millionaires overnight.
There seemed to be noend in sight to the prosperity. Although people were becoming rich quickly, oldmoney 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 andhis supremely decadent lifestyle. The narrator states “His family wereenormously wealthy, even in college his freedom with money was a matter forreproach-but now he’d left Chicago and come East in a fashion that rather tookyour breath away: for instance, he brought down a string of polo ponies fromLake Forest.
” Daisy chose to marry Tom because of his wealth and power. Fitzgerald writes “There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and hisposition and Daisy was flattered. ” He could offer Daisy prestige inaddition to all the old money one could dream of. Gatsby had made his money byillegal means. He was a nobody from nowhere and although he was rich beyondbelief, he was one of the hundreds of nouveau riche who lacked the cache of theold money set.
Although Gatsby could offer Daisy romance, love, excitement andintrigue, her need for security freedom and money made her eventually chooseTom. In terms of security, Tom could offer much more than Gatsby. Tom’s oldmoney could offer Daisy prestige and social position whereas Gatsby’s moneywas quickly and somewhat questionably earned. Everyone including Daisy realizedthat it could be just as quickly lost. Tom states “I found out what yourdrug-stores were.
He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-streetdrug-stores here in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter” . Tomalso said “That drug-store business was just small change but you’ve gotsomething on now that Walter’s afraid to tell me about. ” This proves thatGatsby’s money was achieved through corrupt means and his lack of positionwould leave him vulnerable to prosecution if he were to be caught. On the otherhand, Daisy and Tom’s elite position in society enabled them to “get awaywith murder”. They were able to move away and start anew after hittingMyrtle in the car.
Due to the wealth and power of Tom and Daisy, they were ableto live with a substantial amount of freedom. They were able to tear apart thelives of people and move on without as much as a backward glance. Nick’sjudgment of them was “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashedup things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vastcarelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other peopleclean up the mess they had made. ” Daisy’s selection of Tom over Gatsbyafforded a somewhat unorthodox freedom. Tom had many mistresses but alwaysreturned to Daisy. He said “Once in a while I go off and make a fool ofmyself, 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 Gatsbywould not allow it. He wanted all of her and she could not give that to him. Shesaid “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. Shegrew up with old money, security and freedom and was not willing to give it allup for love.
I believe that the author chose the name Daisy because Daisy inLatin 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 revolvesaround her!