Daisy Buchanan Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a bond salesman in the “golden shimmering mirage” that is New York City during the roaring twenties. Neighbor to the mysterious and extremely wealthy Jay Gatsby and cousin to old-money heiress Daisy Buchanan, Nick is exposed to the lifestyle of both newly-rich West Egg and traditionally rich East Egg. His descriptions of his experiences are frequently saturated with the colors gold and silver, often associated with money, wealth, and power. Luhrmann, in his film adaptation, makes use of the symbolism of these colors in as many ways as Fitzgerald does in the original text. Following Nick through “glittering parties” in this “golden city,” both Fitzgerald and Luhrmann…show more content…
Fitzgerald uses Daisy as the epitome of wealth, calling her “the golden girl” with a voice “full of money” (120). While Daisy may seem perfect, it becomes apparent that her life is far from flawless when Nick learns that her husband is having an affair, and her reputation is even further tainted when Daisy herself has an affair with Gatsby. By showing that Daisy is a trophy in Gatsby’s eyes, Fitzgerald makes his strongest case for the corruption of the upper class. If the golden girl, the perfect woman, leads a life so lacking in morality, what could this possibly mean for the rest of the elite? By making it clear that Daisy is considered to be the ultimate prize, Fitzgerald clearly shows that the wealth of the upper class has given them more power than they know what to do with, leading to seemingly nonexistent morals and a lifestyle so detached from reality that they cannot even see their…show more content…
Having Nick describe her as “shimmering,” Luhrmann makes Daisy almost appear to be simply a mirage, rather than a real woman. The first part of Daisy shown in the film is her hand with an enormous sparkly ring on it, which shows her marriage to Tom Buchanan, a man who clearly does not have a moral compass. This wildly wealthy couple is but one of thousands of New York’s upper class, and their rationalization of their misdeeds is not unique. Luhrmann, who follows Fitzgerald’s model of portraying Daisy as the golden girl by dressing her almost exclusively in silver, makes the same claim regarding the upper class’s corruption by making it clear that Daisy, who is considered the best of the best, moves through her life without a single thought to whom she may be hurting or what lives she may be ruining. The Great Gatsby, told by both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Luhrmann in the original text and the movie, is a scathing criticism of the wealth and corruption of the upper class in the 1920s. By using gold and silver, both men illustrate the detrimental effects of the amount of money and power possessed by these people. Culminating in the character of Daisy Buchanan, these criticisms offer an important reminder that what is commonly accepted as the most desirable lifestyle is very likely to destroy the people trying to survive in
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