Sarah Woodruff And Daisy Bucha Essay, Research Paper
Sarah Woodruff and Daisy Buchanan A Comparison
In the two novels The French Lieutenant s Woman by Fowles, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the authors give life to two women; Sarah in The French Lieutenant s Woman and Daisy in The Great Gatsby. These women live very different lives, but even though the differences in this case outnumber the similarities, the two ladies still have some common characteristics. Also, more importantly, they also have some similar functions in the novels.
One similarity between Sarah and Daisy is that they both have very complex characters. Sarah is mystery personified. In the beginning of the book the reader is told a little about Sarah and what she has experienced, and it seems within reach to be able to understand her. However, as one reads on, Sarah appears more and more complex and what seems clear in the beginning is fairly misty at the end of the book. Sarah, more than once, surprises the other characters and the reader by saying or acting in an utterly surprising and unexpected way. One example of this is when Sarah confesses to Charles that she had lied when she said that she did not mean to be seen coming out from the Undercliff : I have told you a lie, I made sure Mrs Fairley saw me, I knew she would tell Mrs Poultney. What controls Charles had felt himself gaining now slipped from his grasp again He was evidently being asked for forgiveness; but he himself was asking for guidance, since the doctors had failed him again (242). In this passage Charles is once again struck by surprise. What Sarah confesses is something he would never have imagined, and he is absolutely confused.
Whereas Sarah is an enigma almost throughout the book, Daisy seems to be easier to comprehend. However, even though no single one of her characteristics is very complex in itself, the multitudes of different characteristics turn her into a very complex character as well. The first time she is introduced in the novel, is when Nick visits the Buchanans in the very beginning of the book. In that episode, she appears to be a fairly happy young woman, a perfect match with the upper class. Daisy also appears to be a product of the roaring 20 s that they live in. Women then, were not supposed to be educated or have a job and hence she is depending on her husband, Tom, to support her. The following quote if from when Daisy first meets Nick: I m p-paralysed with happiness. She laughed again, as if she said something very witty, and held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see. That was the way she had (7). However, it does not take long before one realises that Daisy is not quite as happy and well adjusted as Fitzgerald first made her appear. In fact she is very unhappy with her life and knows that her husband is seeing someone else. Later on in the novel, Daisy shows evidence of both a strong will, and the total lack of it. On example of this is when they are all gathered at the Buchanans on a very hot day: But it s so hot, insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, and everything s so confused. Let s all go to town! (95). Daisy does get her will through, but once there she does not have the strength or courage to stand against Tom: Daisy s leaving you. Nonsense. I am, though, she said with a visible effort. She s not leaving me! I won t stand this! cried Daisy. Oh, please let s get out. Daisy also switches personality, from being innocent and harmless, to being aggressive full of temper and sometimes out of control. One notices this in a number of scenes in the book, for example when Daisy loses control of Gatsby s car.
Another similarity between Sarah and Daisy is that they both seem to have very obsessive admirers. Gatsby has been waiting for Daisy most of his adult life, living across the bay without letting Daisy know about it. He is trapped in a dream of what it used to be like when they were once together, and even though things are very different when the two of them finally meet again, he refuses to realise that. One passage that clearly shows this is when Nick and Gatsby have a conversation about Daisy: And she doesn t understand, he said. She used to be able to understand. We d sit for hours (89). Gatsby wants things to be just the way they were, and gets rather upset when Nick says: I wouldn t ask to much of her, I ventured. You can t repeat the past. Can t repeat the past? he cried incredulously. Why of course you can! (89). In Sarah s case, the situation is a bit different. Charles does not realise, or dare to realise that he loves Sarah until more than halfway through the book: For several moments they stood, the woman who was the door, the man without the key; and then she lowered her eyes again Charles saw the truth: he really did stand with one foot over the precipice He knew if he reached out his arms he would meet with no resistance only a passionate reciprocity of feeling (181). Even after this scene it takes some time before Charles really dares to let go of his present life with Ernestine. After he does so, however, he is not willing to let Sarah go very easily. When Sarah leaves London without telling anyone why or where she is going, Charles even travels to the U.S.A. in hope of finding her there. He tries to hunt her down, and does not give up until he knows for sure that there really will not be anything between them.
Even though there are more similarities to be found, there is one important difference one should not forget to mention, and that is the role they play in their societies. Sarah is regarded as an outcast, whereas Daisy most definitely is not. In a way one could say that Sarah, herself, chooses to be an outcast. She likes to be alone, and she searches for places where she can find solitude and freedom. This is also why she spends so much time in the Undercliff. During a conversation with Charles about her past, Sarah says: I did it so that I should never be the same again. I did it so that people should point at me, should say, there walks the French Lieutenant s Whore Sometimes I almost pity them. I think I have a freedom they cannot understand I am nothing, I am hardly human anymore. I am the French Lieutenant s Whore (171). By doing an act of shame, Sarah has managed to put herself out of reach for everyone. Nothing anyone says hurts her, and she is free to whatever comes to her mind. Daisy on the other hand is anything but an outcast. As mentioned earlier, she is a perfect match with the roaring 20 s she lives in. She has many friends, and is liked by all of them. She is married, has a child, and is very well off.
To sum things up, Sarah and Daisy at first appear to be each other’s complete opposites. Even though they are very different, a closer look reveals some features shared by them both. Still, these similarities are not close to enough to say that they are alike. They have different backgrounds, different presents and most importantly different prospects with their life. These prospects make the roles as main female characters very different. Daisy starts out as the beauty but later on turns into the beast. Sarah, however, is looked upon as the beast from the very beginning, but as one gets to know her she approaches the borderline between the beauty and the beast. She is not perfect, but then again, no one is.