The Fallen Angel - Biaoyang Chen '17

We can no longer work back!” Eileen Chang wrote in her famous book, Love In a Fallen City. This is used to describe a relationship between two lovers who haven’t met each other for ten years, just like the relation between Gatsby and Daisy in the novel The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. The fate remains the same, but their position has changed forever. Five years’ separation creates a chasm in their relationship. While Gatsby was working to get his illegal money, Daisy married a wealthy man, Tom Buchanan. Daisy has, frankly speaking, become a member of the rotten crowd. Although her love and tenderness toward Gatsby is real, she had become one of those careless people, and she would never risk her upper-class social status or money for Gatsby’s love.

    Daisy instantly fell in love with Gatsby when she first meets him. However, her love was based on the wealth and nobility that Gatsby pretended to possess. Gatsby was only a poor soldier. To get Daisy’s heart, he went to the war for fame and exploit. When she realized that Gatsby won’t be back soon, “She wanted her life shaped now, immediately— and the decision must be made by some force—of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality—that was close at  hand” (Fitzgerald 161). After Gatsby’s departure, Daisy seems to lose patience. She needed something more realistic than Gatsby’s love, and she is tired of endlessly waiting. She starts dating more and more people, and Tom Buchanan was one of them. Daisy was definitely not a innocent girl who wonders about fairy tale dream, but a aristocratic lady with a desire of money and fame. The force of money,  a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and Tom’s “love” crushes her. Eventually, she married Tom Buchanan, the man of wealth and nobility. When Gatsby returned, he realizes that, “Her voice is full of money.” (Fitzgerald 128). However, she never expected the return of Gatsby.

Five years past in an instant, and when Gatsby meets Daisy again, she is no longer the innocent girl that he kissed five years ago. Gatsby devotes all his money and tries to impress Daisy. However, the past has changed her forever, and Gatsby is no longer the only one she loved: “‘Oh, you want too much!’ Daisy 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.’” (Fitzgerald 142). Daisy has become different, and Gatsby can’t erase the past. When Gatsby wants a proof of Daisy’s love, Daisy refused. She thinks that Gatsby want to much, and she has no hope in having a new life with Gatsby. Daisy, in this moment, feels just like Tom Buchanan, and Gatsby is just her version of “Myrtle”. Just like the way Tom loves Myrtle, Daisy loves Gatsby, but she will never risk her present life to run away with him. She is no longer the naive girl from five years ago.

Daisy loses control after seeing arguments between two men that she has loved. She just wants to drive away. She drives so fast, and she runs over Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s mistress, with Gatsby’s car. After the accident, she never tells the truth that she is the one who is driving. She just leaves the town with Tom, and she leaves Gatsby forever. It seems to Nick that “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.” (Fitzgerald 191). Instead of admitting to her crime, Daisy hides the truth. She goes to tom and they plot against Gatsby. These careless people just leave the mess to Gatsby and then disappear. Responsibility is never their cup of tea. Daisy left Gatsby waiting lonely for her call, but poor Gatsby would never realize the truth that Daisy is gone forever.

Time is the worst poison, and it changes people. Daisy, who used to be an innocent pure angel, is corrupted by the power of money. On the other hand, Gatsby, who worships her so much only receive her cold-blooded response after a five year separation. Daisy has become a part of the rotten crowd and is no different from Tom Buchanan. Money and wealth are her shield, and Cupid’s arrow can no longer move her. The lovely angel has fallen in time.