Literary Option: F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
Subject: Daisy’s conflicting feelings after finding out about her husband’s infidelity.
Purpose: To show Daisy’s insecurities, reminiscences, longing for Jay Gatsby’s love, and her materialism.
Audience: Jay Gatsby is the intended audience; however, Daisy never actually sends out the letter.
Context: A week into Daisy and Tom’s honeymoon, Daisy discovers that her husband has had an affair. This leaves her with mixed emotions and she decides to send Gatsby a letter. However, she never finished the letter and she does not send it.
A week into Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s honeymoon, Daisy found out that Tom was being unfaithful to her. I chose to write Daisy’s unfinished and unsent reply to the letter Jay Gatsby sent to her on the eve of her wedding, in an effort to explore what must have been going through her head at that moment. After studying both Daisy’s character and the situation, I concluded that she would be feeling insecure, as her pride has been hurt. Furthermore, Tom’s affair would leave her thinking about Gatsby and the choices she made leaving her reminiscent of their love and thinking about what could have been.
Thus my objectives were to show her emotions and to show the extent of her materialism.
To indicate her insecurities, I included many questions that reflect that Daisy was not sure of everything she was saying such as: “But I was more than that to you, Jay, I was more, right?” or “But I am everything to you, right?” Tom’s first affair was probably a big blow to her pride, thus her insecurity would probably emerge in such a fashion.
Tom’s affair made Daisy turn to her true love, Gatsby, and made her doubt her marriage to Tom. Her doubt is shown through comparisons of Daisy’s relationships with both Tom and Gatsby. “It was different with us Jay, it was beautiful” is an example of such a comparison. The sadness provoked as Daisy reminisced on their love is shown through her regrets as she says,” I wish I had just surrendered to your touch”.
Daisy must have been very confused as she was writing, thus many of the sentences are short and awkward at times, displaying the mixed emotions she must have been feeling. The letter is written in such a way that shows the progress of her excitement as it goes from someone subtle at the beginning to obvious excitement indicated towards the end such as: “We can run away together!”
Daisy’s superficiality and materialism are mainly shown through the last paragraph. As she proposes that she and Gatsby should run away together, she gradually begins to realize what she may be giving up. This starts to show as she says,” I guess I can learn to live like that”. Finally in the last sentence, Daisy stops writing the letter as she realizes what she may lose. “ I can leave Tom, his cars, his servants, his mansion, his money….”. As she begins to write the word “ money” she listens to reason and not passion, and decides to stop writing. I chose to exhibit this turning point through the letter to show why Daisy comes to terms with Tom’s constant cheating later on in the novel.
In the fourth paragraph the term ”valued” is also used to show the extent of Daisy’s superficiality. She needs to feel that she is worth something.
Mainly this letter was written to show that Daisy does posses true feelings for Jay Gatsby and that she is not happy in her marriage, but she ultimately chooses to be with Tom to maintain her financial security.
My Dearest Jay,
I write to you sitting at the desk of my and Tom’s honeymoon suite. He, as usual, is out. He doesn’t care for my company, unlike you Jay…you always wanted to be with me. It’s just as well that Tom isn’t here; I wouldn’t know what to say to him after last night. My husband of only a week was with another woman. He doesn’t have the slightest idea that I am aware of his affair. To him, I am just a pretty face in beautiful, expensive clothing who smiles occasionally while sitting across the table from him at dinner. But I was more than to you, Jay, I was more, right? We were in love.
This might seem a bit odd to you, but truthfully Jay, Tom’s actions have led me to think of you…of us…of how it used to be between us. We belong together, don’t we, Jay? We made each other happy. You love me for who I was and I wish I had been a fool who listened to her heart. I wish I was a fool, Jay, I wish I had surrendered to your touch. Oh God, I am only in the first week of my honeymoon and I am already thinking about what could’ve and what should’ve been.
Whenever I feel Tom’s powerful touch, and smell the alcohol and cigars on his breath as he forces himself onto me, I can’t but remember you. It was different with us, Jay, it was beautiful…We used to make love. We were in love, weren’t we?
I remember how special you made me feel when you stroked my hair and whispered sweet nothings in my ear. You always left me feeling valuable. I don’t feel as valuable now. Your love made me feel desired and needed, but now I am neither desired nor needed. I need you to love me, Jay. I don’t mean much to Tom, but I am everything to you, right? Oh Jay, I need to feel valued! I need to feel I am worth something! I need to feel irreplaceable. Come back to me, Jay, or I will go to you! That’s a grand idea!
We can run away together! We can start a life of our own! We can be happy! You will never cheat on me, and I would love you. Let’s leave everything behind. I don’t know where we’ll go but it will be somewhere far, far away from here. I will go wherever you need to go. I guess I can learn to live like that. You would never treat me the way Tom treats me, because you two are so different. You offer me love, while Tom only offers me his money. But never mind that, maybe I can work? I mean, women these days are doing all sorts of crazy things. I can leave Tom, his cars, his servants, his mansion, his money…