Daisy Miller vs The Great Gatsby Analysis

Daisy Miller and The Great Gatsby, are two stories about two millennials on a journey to find themselves. A lot people feel like they need to change themselves to fit in and The Great Gatsby and Daisy Miller represent it in their stories . The novella, Daisy Miller by Henry James took place in Rome, Italy, Vevey, and Switzerland. Daisy was a young coquette favored by men, who refused to conform to the strict European laws of prosperity and was too stubborn to listen, which eventually led to her death.

In the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald took place in New York. Gatsby, a middle aged wealthy man who was once poor and worked hard for years to live the American dream and become wealthy to be with Daisy again. Gatsby lived up to the American dream, but what he truly wanted and worked for was Daisy and in the end, he didn’t rekindle their old ties. While Daisy Miller did not attempt to adapt to social norms of European society, Gatsby did attempt to conform, but was unsuccessful.

Daisy and Gatsby’s obsession with social status led them to make poor choices, which evidently led to their deaths.

Daisy Miller’s Poor Choices

Daisy Miller was a wealthy – high social class American, who refused to conform to European norms, which stopped her from gaining European respect and made her an outstander. Daisy was an average american girl, who was pretty, flirtatious, and favored by men. Daisy had “ always had […] a great deal of gentlemen’s society” (James 10).

Get quality help now
Sweet V

Proficient in: Daisy Miller

4.9 (984)

“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Flirting was considered an American custom and when Daisy failed to adjust to the new customs it was recognized by others, “ when you deal with natives you must go by the custom of the place. Flirting is purely an American custom; it doesn’t exist here. So when you show yourself in public with Mr. Giovanelli, and without your mother —”(James 27). Winterbourne, one of her gentlemen in Europe addressed to Daisy about her flirting behavior not welcomed in Europe, she failed to change and was judged. Mrs. Costello, Winterbourne’s aunt said, “I haven’t the least idea what such young ladies expect a man to do. But i really think that you had better not meddle with little American girls that are uncultivated, as you call them. You have lived too long out of the country. You will be sure to make some great mistake. You are too innocent.” (James 10). Mrs. Costello’s conversation with Winterbourne shows that Daisy’s careless attitude to adapt to the European norms stood out to Native European. Later in the story, Daisy meets Mr. Giovanelli and wants to go hang out with him at a place that is known for getting lots of people sick. Daisy was told not to go but she went anyways. After Daisy went with Mr. Giovanelli (???), Daisy got sick and passed away. Daisy Miller’s lack of effort to conform to the European social norms, by being flirtatious led to her making poor choices and going with Mr. Giovanelli, which evidently led to her death at the end of the novella.

Gatsby’s Obsession with Wealth

In the book, The Great Gatsby, Gatsby was worried about becoming wealthy so he could be with the love of his life, Daisy. Daisy only wanted to be with somebody who was wealthy and she left Gatsby in the past because he wasn’t wealthy, Gatsby was poor. Gatsby worked hard for years to become wealthy and tried to rekindle the old relationship between Daisy and himself but Daisy had already moved on to her husband Tom who, “ She only married you because i was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!” (Fitzgerald 130). Gatsby believed that Daisy would still be waiting for him as he worked on becoming wealthy to make her happy, but in the end Daisy did not get back together with him. Gatsby was so close but yet so far, “ He had come a long way to his blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it,” (Fitzgerald 180). Gatsby changed from being poor to being wealthy just so he please Daisy and be with her. His obsession to with social class led to him having to change to be accepted by somebody else and society. Fitzgerald depicts the message of people wanting to change just to make others happy and to be able to live their American Dream.

Class and wealth depicted in Daisy Miller and The Great Gatsby is relevant today in society because it can affect one’s dream and future. Wealth gives you more opportunities such as going to college while people who are not considered wealthy, don’t always have that option. Wealth can prevent you from going to the college you want to and getting the education you need, which will impact your career. Wealth can also affect one’s dreams and futures because people may want to live the American Dream, but in order to live the american dream one is needed to be wealthy, which lower and middle classes have to work for because money isn’t given out or it wasn’t inherited through the family. Although Daisy Miller was wealthy, she was disliked in European countries because of her lack of effort to change and adjust to the Europeans customs. In the Great Gatsby, wealth doesn’t always mean you’ll achieve the goal and dream you were hoping for and it doesn’t always mean that you are happy. In the book, Gatsby was wealthy but he was not contempt and happy with his life without Daisy being with him. In the article Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson, Richard Cory was a man who was admired and envied by people. Everyone wanted to be in his shoes because he was wealthy, had good manners, was well groomed, good looking, and humble . On a calm night in the summer, Richard Cory shot himself in the head because Richard wasn’t happy. Looks can be deceiving, just because someone has all the materialistic things like money, live an upper class lifestyle and are good looking does not mean they are truly living a happy life.

Wealth and high social status does not mean you’ll ultimately be happy and fulfill your dream. Money doesn’t buy everything and it does not buy happiness. Focusing on materialistic things leads one to change to please others hoping that they’ll be happy and fulfill your dream, like The Great Gatsby when he changed his habitude to be with Daisy but was let down when she chose up. The inadequate ability to adapt to social norms leads to poor choices being made and creates hardships in unfamiliar areas leading to Daisy’s death in Daisy Miller.

Cite this page

Daisy Miller vs The Great Gatsby Analysis. (2022, Feb 07). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/daisy-miller-vs-the-great-gatsby-analysis/

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7