Both vital characters, Daisy Buchanan and Lena Grove, symbolize the central focus of their novels, even though they might be labeled as minor, flat characters. Although the 1920’s and the 1930’s are two distinct time periods, the significance of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby and Lena Grove in Light in August is portrayed through the settings of their stories, their parallel personalities, and their success in regard to the impact of their behaviors. Their actions and presence is the eye of the hurricane as every event revolves around them.Despite the difference in settings in Fitzgerald’s 1920’s and Faulkner’s 1930’s, Daisy and Lena embody their decades. First, the “Roaring Twenties” was an era of modernization and portrayed the “… finest values of the Western culture, the American Dream” (9), yet Gatsby, specifically, demonstrates how the “American Dream” has, in fact, lost the reputable symbol of affluence. Daisy Buchanan is important to the central concept of riches and the ambitions to acquire them in Gatsby as she demonstrates the idea of reputable and established wealth with her luxurious mansion and her flamboyant husband, Tom Buchanan. Overall, “All that is left in Fitzgerald’s novel is the crude pursuit of wealth and the superficial glamour that wealth provides.” (Gross 10). Evidence of the importance Daisy plays in establishing the concept of influence acquired through privilege takes place within the myriad of eccentric parties populated by gold chains and flappers at every corner. Daisy is the embodiment of luxury and central to the theme of those that have versus those that have not by paying the ultimate price, complacency and boredom as the signature of prestige.
On the other hand, Lena Grove comes from a sm…
… Gross. Understanding The Great Gatsby: A Student
Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT:
Greenwood, 1998. 9-10, 109. Print.
Kartiganer, Donald M. The Fragile Thread: The Meaning of Form in Faulkner’s Novels. Amherst: U of Massachusetts, 1979. 59. Print.Kirk, Robert Warner., and Marvin Klotz. Faulkner’s People: A Complete Guide and Index to Characters in the Fiction of William Faulkner. Berkeley: U of California, 1963. 72. Print.
Vogel Dan. “The Mask of Oedipus Tyranos,” in his Three Masks of American Tragedy.
Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. Eds. Carolyn Riley and Phyllis Mendelson.
Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1976. 178-79.
—. “The Mask of Satan,” in his Three Masks of American Tragedy. Contemporary
Literary Criticism. Vol. Eds. Carolyn Riley and Phyllis Mendelson. Detroit: Gale
Research Company, 1976. 179. Keyword: Satan.