An absent voice: Daisy

Daisy does not tell the story of her romance with Gatsby, either in its first phase or during the timespan of the novel. However, we do hear her speak, and sometimes her statements are pivotal, as in the exclamation, ‘You always look so cool’ which tells Tom of her relationship with Gatsby in Chapter 7. 

Her one narrative episode is evasive and contradictory, as when she offers to tell Nick what she said when her daughter was born. This becomes a very bitter anecdote, demonstrating ‘how I’ve gotten to feel about – things’. She tells Nick that she wanted her child to be a ‘beautiful little fool’. 

When Gatsby calls upon her to renounce her relationship with Tom, asserting that she had never loved him, she falters and seems to prefer Tom’s narrative to Gatsby’s:

‘Oh, you want too much!’ she cried to Gatsby. ‘I love you now – isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.’ She began to sob helplessly. ‘I did love him once – but I loved you too.’

Daisy is completely absent from the final chapter, disappearing with Tom in Chapter 8, but Tom reappears to speak with Nick, whereas Daisy is never seen or heard of again.

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