I have to gather a list of some controversial characters in English Literature. As a result, I came up with a small list. A few characters were suggested by my friends, but one I found a bit confusing.

How is Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby a controversial character? Can anyone help me by identifying some controversial aspects of the character?

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    I would first suggest you read the book, but if you don't have time: If you google "Great Gatsby analysis," you will find a long list of websites which will explain more about Daisy and why she is controversial. Dec 31, 2018 at 12:57
  • Thank you for your kind response. I did a little bit googling, but i got confused. I was looking for some vivid fact. By the way, i will try to dig more. Thanks again.
    – Shahnewaz
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:08
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    She comes off as flighty or superficial and seems to value her situation (money, cushy life) over her true feelings for Gatsby, as the novel ends with her leaving with her abusive (and also hypocritical) husband and Gatsby is murdered by Myrtle's husband, George. Daisy's partially responsible for killing Myrtle, leaving her dead at the scene, even though Gatsby says he will take the blame, which he pays for as Tom is the one who mentions whose car it was to George. One might argue other aspects, such as "accountability" as she was a mother whom was partying all the time & torn between two men. Dec 31, 2018 at 16:06
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    IMO she represents an interesting dichotomy between a women's agency vs a women's accountability. There are some things that are not entirely her fault, including what a women's situation might be in the 1920's, but on the other hand she never seems to show remorse either and that is what makes her rather unlikable or hard to route for in the end. Dec 31, 2018 at 16:12
  • @DarthLocke You might want to flesh out these comments into an answer. Sep 14, 2020 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


Daisy (Fay) Buchanan was a well-meaning, but ultimately weak and indecisive woman from a wealthy family. Modern critics might characterize as a Stepford Wife. Her main problem is that she doesn't seem to "take responsibility" for her actions (even though she appears not to mean any harm). In Nick's opinion,

"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…" [Emphasis added.}

For instance, she falls in love with Gatsby, then is swayed by Tom Buchanan, then (reasonably) thinks better of her upcoming marriage to Buchanan, but without cancelling the wedding. Then Gatsby comes back into her life, and she thinks of leaving Tom for him, but finally opts for the status quo, just because it is the status quo. Finally, she gets into a hit and run accident with her husband's mistress, and doesn't stop to help or leave identification, which is basically illegal.

A hundred years ago, such indecisiveness was tolerated in, if not expected of a young woman. Not so today.

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