Comparing Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby and Brett of The Sun Also Rises

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Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby and Brett Ashley of The Sun Also Rises

Written right after the publication of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is apparently influenced in many ways. The most obvious of Fitzgerald's influence is manifested in Hemingway's portrayal of his heroine, Brett Ashley. Numerous critics have noted and discussed the similarities between Brett and Daisy Buchanan, and rightly so; but the two women also have fundamental differences. Compared to Daisy, Brett is a more rounded, complex character, and Hemingway has treated her with more sympathy than Fitzgerald has with Daisy. Some similarities between Brett Ashley and Daisy Buchanan include their physical beauty, their
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Gatsby sinks into it, allowing his imagination to exaggerate until finally,

The colossal vitality of his illusion … had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart (101).

That dream is also empty because Daisy is empty. Fitzgerald depicts her as an empty, useless and dependent female who ultimately lacks definition. Whereas Gatsby works to pursue Daisy, Nick has a regular job, and even Jordan has her tournaments; Daisy does not have a purpose, a profession, or even a talent for anything. Her purposelessness is apparent in this scene with Jordan Baker:

"We ought to plan something," yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the table as if she were getting into bed.

"All right," said Daisy. "What'll we plan?" She turned to me helplessly. "What do people plan?" (16)

More literally, Daisy ruins Gatsby by killing Myrtle Wilson and letting him take the blame for it, thus ultimately causing his death. Of course, one may argue that Gatsby himself is willing to take the blame for her:

"Was Daisy driving?"

"Yes," he said after a moment, "but of course I'll say I was." (151)

But Gatsby is willing to take the responsibility because
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