It’s hard to believe that a novel nearly 100 years old would still be relevant today, but The Great Gatsby has that kind of staying power.
Daisy Buchanan is one of the main characters in this novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and while she may seem a weak, wishy-washy character, some of her quotes are just as valid today as they were in the 1920s. (You can read all the important quotes from The Great Gatsby here)
Discover what Daisy Buchanan is best known for saying, and how The Great Gatsby has withstood the test of time.
Daisy Buchanan Quotes from Chapter 1
The very first introduction of Daisy Buchanan takes place in Chapter 1 of The Great Gatsby.
Nick Carraway, narrator and Daisy’s cousin, goes to her house in East Egg for a visit.
Daisy’s First Quote in the Book
Nick finds Daisy inside the residence, along with her friend, the famous golfer Jordan Baker, and Daisy’s first quote is—
“I’m p-paralyzed with happiness.”
Nick writes that Daisy laughed as if she said something witty and acted as if there was no one in the world that she wanted to see more than him.
Daisy Buchanan Quotes of Sadness
Later in this same chapter, Daisy talks to Nick, revealing an inner sadness that doesn’t go along with her cheerful snobbery and says—
In two weeks it’ll be the longest day in the year… Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.
During this same conversation with Nick, Daisy Buchanan speaks openly about her disillusionment with life in general in this statement—
“I think everything’s terrible anyhow… I’ve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything.”
While it might appear that Daisy had everything in the world, she obviously wasn’t getting the attention that she felt she deserved or that she received when she lived in Chicago. You could read through her when she asked Nick—
“Do they miss me?”
We find out that Daisy and Tom Buchanan moved from Chicago to Long Island to get away from the rumors that Tom was having an affair.
Daisy married Tom for his money, but the artificial world that she lives in isn’t what she wanted.
Quotes Describing Daisy Buchanan
Many passages in the novel describe Daisy Buchanan, but this list provides some of the best descriptions of Daisy.
Quotes About Daisy Buchanan’s Appearance
In Chapter 1, Nick visits the Buchanans and describes Daisy’s appearance as:
“Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth…” (Chapter 1)
A few chapters later,
“Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes.” (Chapter 8)
The quote above is from Chapter 8, describing Daisy after Gatsby has left for the war and how she reveled in the artificial world of the Jazz Age.
Quotes About Daisy Buchanan as a Flapper
Daisy embraced the flapper image, except that there was something that kept her a cut above the rest.
“Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn’t drink.” (Chapter 4)
This observation comes from Jordan describing how seemingly perfect Daisy keeps her reputation. Not to say that her life is squeaky-clean, it’s just that she knows how to “come out” clean.
Quotes About Daisy Buchanan’s Voice
Many things suggest about Daisy’s superficiality. Her voice, for one, has an artificial and “staged” quality to it, making you doubt her sincerity.
No less than Nick first takes note of this. In Chapter 1, Nick writes about Daisy’s “absurd, charming little laugh” when she stutters about being “p-paralyzed with happiness”.
He repeatedly observes her voice in these quotes:
“… low and thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.” (Chapter 1)
Nick further describes Daisy’s voice with a “singing compulsion” that promises of exciting things to come.
Later in the novel, Nick again brings up Daisy’s voice as:
“She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked. “It’s full of-” I hesitated. (Chapter 7)
To this Gatsby responds by saying that Daisy’s voice is “full of money”, possibly referring to her wealth ( see Gatsby Quotes about Money ).
Daisy Buchanan Quotes about Her Daughter
While Tom and Daisy’s daughter Pammy Buchanan isn’t discussed at length, it’s important to note that Daisy does have a 2-year-old girl. This would make divorcing Tom and living with Gatsby even more difficult.
Daisy Buchanan Quotes about Being a Girl and a Fool
Daisy also appears to be depressed just thinking about what life holds in store for a young woman.
Daisy Buchanan tells Nick—
“I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept, all right. I’m glad it was a girl and I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Earlier, Daisy asked Nick—
“You ought to see the baby. She’s asleep, she’s two years old. Haven’t you ever seen her?”
This quote seems strange since Nick hasn’t seen Daisy in years. Chances are that Daisy wants to show off her daughter to Nick, believing that at least Pammy is good, pure, and innocent since Daisy feels she no longer is any of those things.
Daisy Buchanan Quotes about Money
Daisy came from a wealthy family in Kentucky. It only makes sense that she would marry a man of means. Daisy said this herself when she told Gatsby—
“Rich girls don’t marry poor boys.”
Of course, Daisy could have married Gatsby, the poor boy that he was, but money was more important to her.
Quotes about the Importance of Money to Daisy
Even Gatsby and Nick recognize the importance of money in Daisy’s life—
Nick wrote,“She’s got an indiscreet voice, it’s full of—” then hesitated.
“Her voice is full of money,” [Gatsby] said suddenly.
Then Nick proceeds, “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.”
Quotes about Daisy Marrying Tom for Money
Daisy’s love of money caused her to make some poor choices in life. Gatsby recognizes this and tells Tom—
“She never loved you, do you hear? She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me.”
Quotes About Daisy Being a Gold Digger
There’s no doubt that Daisy values wealth so much- in fact, money is a top requirement for her in finding a husband. After crying her heart out when Gatsby left for the war, she bounced back in no time, as we see from this quote:
“… Daisy began to move again with the season; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men.”
“She wanted her life shaped now, immediately — and the decision must be made by some force — of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality…”
“That force took shape in the middle of spring with the arrival of Tom Buchanan. There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his position, and Daisy was flattered. (Chapter 8)
Daisy, in fact, only appears to fall in love with Gatsby again after seeing his mansion and displays of his wealth, such as his collection of dress shirts.
Nick writes about how Gatsby took out piles of shirts, then another, until there was a heap of dress shirts of various colors, textures, and prints. Then—
Suddenly with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.”
It seems silly that Daisy makes a big drama scene about ‘such beautiful shirts.’ Make no doubt about it, Daisy isn’t crying over his shirts, but her happiness in realizing that Jay Gatsby is finally wealthy enough for her tastes.
Unfortunately, coming from old money, Daisy quickly realizes that Gatsby’s new money, gained through bootlegging and other illegal activities, won’t buy her the status that she has become accustomed to.
Daisy Buchanan Quotes about Love
After reading The Great Gatsby, one might question whether Daisy even knows what love is.
Daisy’s Quote the Night Before She Married Tom
Jordan tells Nick that, the night before the wedding, Daisy got very drunk after reading a letter from Jay Gatsby ( read quotes about Jay Gatsby ).
“Here, dearis.” She groped around in a waste-basket she had with her on the bed and pulled out the string of pearls. “Take ’em down-stairs and give ’em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ’em all ‘Daisy’s change her mine.’ Say ‘Daisy’s change her mine!'”
However, Daisy didn’t change her mind. She sobers up and marries Tom the next day.
- Related Topic: Great Gatsby Quotes About Love
Quote about Tom’s Love for Daisy
One must also wonder if Tom knows what love is. Perhaps having so much money gets in the way of how a person really feels? Tom describes his love for Daisy in this quote—
He nodded sagely. “And what’s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.”
While Tom seems to think that men having affairs is OK, he doesn’t want Daisy to do the same, and he is shocked to discover that Daisy might love Gatsby.
As someone once said, the rich really are different.
With all her beauty, charm, grace, and her sweet and alluring voice, Daisy Buchanan is a weak, fickle, selfish woman who cares more about money and social status than anything or anyone else.
Daisy does appear to love Gatsby, but her “love” comes with certain conditions. She realizes that, while Gatsby has become very wealthy, he can’t give her the social status she requires. She knows that she is stuck with her husband, even though she doesn’t appear to like him very much.
While Daisy’s true character is slowly revealed throughout the book, it is her final action, moving out of their house in Long Island and not even bothering to send flowers to Gatsby’s funeral, that convinces Nick that Tom and Daisy are worthless people.
In the last three pages of The Great Gatsby, Nick summarizes what kind of people Daisy and Nick were by saying—
“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.”
Written by Kerry Wisby – GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Owner & Founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Kerry Wisby, a former teacher with a BA in English, is the founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com. With a passion for all things 1920s, including The Great Gatsby novel, her website is the ultimate source for Roaring Twenties fashion, history, and party ideas. Read more about Kerry here.