Happiness And Happiness In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays

Daisy’s character in The Great Gatsby serves the purpose of highlighting the underlying social criticism of the capitalist society and the sense of betrayal and abandonment present in Daisy’s character underscores the idea that money does not equal happiness. Myers, in the Book American Paradox, talks of the “human capacity for adaption” ( Myers 135), where he explains how material accumulation over time will not necessarily lead to an increased level of happiness but rather an initial high of satisfaction to be followed by the same level of happiness before the event. This idea can be found in the marriage between Tom and Daisy; being unhappy before the wedding, she “… cried and cried” (Fitzgerald 83), supposedly because she realized that being with Gatsby was no longer a possibility and thus on some level knew that Tom’s money would not make her happy. Schwartz agrees with the paradoxical relationship between money and happiness in his review of Myer’s American Paradox, in which he says that wealth “fills our bellies, but leaves us spiritually hungry” (Schwartz 74). This is personified in the character of Daisy. In the novel, Nick testifies about her “vast carelessness” (Fitzgerald 186) and seemingly distant relationship to her daughter Pammy. Despite there not being a clear correlation between happiness and money, Myers states that “[h]appiness is not the result of being rich” (Myers 134), a statement which is in many ways personified in Daisy. Daisy’s life illustrates

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