The Great Gatsby

Daisy Buchanan Character Analysis

The love of Jay Gatsby's life, the cousin of Nick Carraway, and the wife of Tom Buchanan. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where she met and fell in love with Gatsby. She describes herself as "sophisticated" and says the best thing a girl can be is a "beautiful little fool," which makes it unsurprising that she lacks conviction and sincerity, and values material things over all else. Yet Daisy isn't just a shallow gold digger. She's more tragic: a loving woman who has been corrupted by greed. She chooses the comfort and security of money over real love, but she does so knowingly. Daisy's tragedy conveys the alarming extent to which the lust for money captivated Americans during the Roaring Twenties.

Daisy Buchanan Quotes in The Great Gatsby

The The Great Gatsby quotes below are all either spoken by Daisy Buchanan or refer to Daisy Buchanan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scribner edition of The Great Gatsby published in 2004.
Chapter 1 Quotes
"And I hope she'll be a fool — that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."
Related Characters: Daisy Buchanan (speaker), Pammy Buchanan
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes
"It makes me sad because I've never seen such — such beautiful shirts before."
Related Characters: Daisy Buchanan (speaker), Jay Gatsby
Related Symbols: Gatsby's Mansion
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes
"I wouldn't ask too much of her," I ventured. "You can't repeat the past."
"Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"
He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
Related Characters: Jay Gatsby (speaker), Nick Carraway (speaker), Daisy Buchanan
Related Symbols: Gatsby's Mansion
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes
"Her voice is full of money," he said suddenly.
That was it. I'd never understood before. It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals' song of it.
Related Characters: Jay Gatsby (speaker), Nick Carraway (speaker), Daisy Buchanan
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes
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.
Related Characters: Nick Carraway (speaker), Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:

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That's my Middle West . . . the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark. . . . I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.
Related Characters: Nick Carraway (speaker), Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker
Related Symbols: East and West
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

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And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world.... And as I sat there, brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out Daisy's light at the end of his dock. He had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Related Characters: Nick Carraway (speaker), Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan
Related Symbols: The Green Light and the Color Green
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

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Daisy Buchanan Character Timeline in The Great Gatsby

The timeline below shows where the character Daisy Buchanan appears in The Great Gatsby. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...has East Egg connections, drives over to East Egg to have dinner at the Buchanans. Daisy Buchanan is Nick's cousin, and Nick vaguely knew her husband Tom because Tom also attended... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Just then, Tom learns he has a phone call and leaves the room. Daisy follows quickly behind, and Jordan tells Nick that the call is from Tom's mistress. The... (full context)
Chapter 2
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...increasingly loud. After Tom gives her a puppy as a gift, she starts talking about Daisy. Tom warns her that she doesn't have the right to use Daisy's name. But she... (full context)
Chapter 4
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
...Gatsby had told her earlier: as a young man, Gatsby had a passionate romance with Daisy Fay, who is now Daisy Buchanan. During the war, when Daisy was not yet twenty,... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
...the story later in Central Park. She says Gatsby never fell out of love with Daisy and bought his giant mansion in West Egg to be across the bay from her.... (full context)
Chapter 5
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...Nick realizes that Gatsby's is trying to convince him to set up the meeting with Daisy. Nick tells Gatsby he'll do it. Gatsby then offers Nick the chance to join a... (full context)
Past and Future Theme Icon
...grass, and also makes sure Nick's house is full of flowers. Gatsby disappears just as Daisy arrives. When Gatsby arrives at Nick's front door, he looks pale and deathlike, and knocks... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Gatsby and Daisy treat each other formally at first, and Gatsby's nerves threaten to overwhelm him. Nick leaves... (full context)
Past and Future Theme Icon
Nick, meanwhile, privately wonders how Daisy can possibly fulfill Gatsby's idealized vision of her. Nick reflects that over the years Gatsby... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...his hangers-on, Ewing Klipspringer, to play the piano for the three of them. Gatsby holds Daisy's hand and she whispers something to him that seems to stir his emotions. Nick, sensing... (full context)
Chapter 6
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
The next Saturday night, Tom and Daisy come to a party at Gatsby's. The party strikes Nick as particularly unpleasant. Tom is... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
After the party, Gatsby is depressed. He suspects that Daisy neither enjoyed the party nor understands the depth of his feelings for her. Nick reminds... (full context)
Past and Future Theme Icon
...recalls a memory that Gatsby once shared with him about the first time Gatsby kissed Daisy. Nick calls Gatsby's sentimentality about history "appalling" and reflects that in that kiss Gatsby's dreams... (full context)
Chapter 7
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
On the hottest day of the summer, Daisy invites Nick and Gatsby to lunch with her, Tom, and Jordan. At one point, while... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
...lunch is awkward, at least in part because of the intense heat. At one point Daisy asks what they should do with the rest of the day and the next thirty... (full context)
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Tom insists on driving Gatsby's big yellow car. Gatsby and Daisy travel alone in Tom's coupe, while Tom drives Nick and Jordan. It's clear Tom now... (full context)
Past and Future Theme Icon
...the windows above the garage at Jordan Baker, whom she seems to have mistaken for Daisy, her rival in love. (full context)
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...asks what kind of a split Gatsby's trying to cause between Tom and his wife. Daisy tries and fails to quiet Tom. (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Gatsby says Daisy never loved Tom and has only ever loved him. Tom protests, but Daisy says it's... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
Yet when Tom asks her to think about their history together, Daisy admits that she did love Tom in the past, she just loved Gatsby too. Gatsby... (full context)
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...reveals that Gatsby really is involved with organized crime, such as bootlegging. All this terrifies Daisy, who begs that they leave and go home. Tom, realizing he's won, tells her to... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
...new decade stretched before him. In Tom's car heading back toward Long Island (Gatsby and Daisy took Gatsby's car), Nick observes that unlike Daisy, people like Jordan Baker know better than... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...waits for it outside, he sees Gatsby hiding in the bushes. Gatsby tells him that Daisy was driving the car and that he tried to stop the accident, but was too... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
Nick goes and checks on Daisy through the window, and sees Tom and Daisy sitting on either side of some fried... (full context)
Chapter 8
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
Nick visits Gatsby for breakfast the next morning. Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy never came outside the previous night, but rejects Nick's advice to forget Daisy and leave... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...the primary contact for all matters relating to Gatsby because nobody else wanted to be. Daisy and Tom disappear with no forwarding address, and Meyer Wolfsheim says he has pressing business... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
...The Great Gatsby as a story of the West since many of the key characters (Daisy, Tom, Nick, Jordan, Gatsby) involved were not from the East. He says that after Gatsby's... (full context)
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...the apartment in which he conducted his affair with Myrtle. Nick doesn't tell Tom that Daisy was at the wheel. He describes Tom and Daisy as careless people who destroy things... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
...similar wonder when he realized that tiny blinking green light across the bay belonged to Daisy Buchanan. (full context)