The Careless Killings Of Daisy Buchanan Essay

, Research Paper

The Careless Killings of Daisy Buchanan

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is about a man named Jay Gatsby, who

has a dream of winning over the wealthy Daisy Buchanan. In this “American

Masterpiece”, three innocent people die because of the carelessness of Daisy. She is

responsible for betraying Gatsby’s dream, running over Myrtle with her car and

indirectly causing George’s suicide.

Daisy is both directly and indirectly responsible for the death of Myrtle Wilson.

Fitzgerald arranges Daisy to kill Myrtle in an auto accident, to typify the careless

character Daisy portrays. Daisy grew up among “East Eggers”, where everything

including money and wealth was handed to her on a “golden platter.” Daisy

innocently thinks that someone will always be there to clean up after her, so she

doesn’t think twice before she makes a mess. “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…”(page 187) Myrtle’s death was

a mistake that could have easily been prevented had Daisy been a careful driver

and cautious person.

Daisy’s betrayal of Gatsby’s dream leads indirectly towards his death. Gatsby

believes in the “American Dream” of success, “the orgastic future”, including the

ideal “American woman”, who he believes is Daisy. She initially refuses to marry

him because he is not wealthy nor a “somebody” in Daisy’s mind. Yet, Gatsby

works long and hard to achieve the status that will be “good enough” for her.

His dream of her is genuine and innocent, clear as the green light on Daisy’s dock.

But when he finally meets her again after many long years of waiting, Nick says,

“There must have been times that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his

dreams. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up

in his ghostly heart.” Daisy is corrupted by wealth. Her lovely voice is filled with

money. Fitzgerald uses Daisy and her pride in money to show how Gatsby’s

dreams could never be fulfilled in her heartless world.

Although she wants to be with Gatsby, she and her husband, Tom are already

part of a “secret society” of established wealth. Fitzgerald reveals this “secret

society” in the following quote, “She looked at me with an absolute smirk on her

lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished ’secret

society’ to which she and Tom belonged.” (page 22) Despite her knowledge that

she could never leave Tom for Gatsby, Daisy continues to accept “the attentions” of

Gatsby, avoiding his hope for the American Dream. Had Daisy honestly told

Gatsby that they could never be together, he would not have pursued her and

would have moved on with his life. In Daisy’s lack of honesty towards Gatsby, he

continued to follow his American Dream, unaware that it would result in his

death. In the end, Gatsby is shot by George Wilson with his dreams cut short and

remaining unaccomplished.

Daisy drives George towards his madness and suicide due to her lack of

honesty. She simply “forgets” to tell him that she accidentally ran over his wife.

Going insane not knowing who has killed his wife, George blames Gatsby, the

wrong man for her death ,”‘Oh, my God!…He killed her…I have a way of finding

out…I’m one of those trusting fellas and I don’t think any harm to nobody, but

when I get to know a thing I know it.’” Concluding that Myrtle’s lover has killed

her, he sets out for revenge, killing the wrong person. Because of George’s

intolerable grief over his wife’s death, and overwhelming guilt of murdering an

innocent man, he takes his own life realizing he has nothing left to live for.

Daisy’s lack of honesty about the car accident resulted in George losing his sanity,

thus seeking revenge against who he thought was Myrtle’s “lover”. Had she been

upfront about the car accident, George would have kept his sanity along with his

life. Eventually, he would have gotten over Myrtle’s death and perhaps her


Daisy Buchanan runs her car over Myrtle, thereby killing her. To make the

situation worse, she keeps Mryrtle’s death to herself, as a result causing George’s

mental breakdown and suicide. Then she selfishly betrays Gatsby’s trust in

accomplishing his “American Dream”. Daisy Buchanan is a heartless woman, who

thinks that no harm will come to her in the misconceived society that she lives in.

If she had been careful in her actions, she could have prevented three innocent

people from dying.


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