Arguably, there are multiple candidates for protagonist in "The Great Gatsby," but Daisy Buchanan stands above the rest. The protagonist is clearly Daisy because of her conflicts with the other characters, the sympathy invoked by Daisy and her situation, and the novel's revolution around her.
Throughout the novel Daisy struggles with herself and the other characters. These struggles cause her to be possessed "with turbulent emotions" (21). Daisy is a beautiful woman who manages to make herself the object of Gastby's greatest dreams. At the same time, however, she is married to Tom Buchanan who is a very rich and powerful man. This causes Daisy to be torn between her husband and Gatsby, the stories main conflict. When making this decision, she is faced with the fact that Tom is cheating on her with Myrtle. Daisy has an internal struggle whether or not his cheating justifies her choosing Gatsby. The hardship of Daisy's decision is evident in the remarks of some guests at her gathering "doesn't he know she doesn't want him she says she does want him" (109-10). Eventually she decides to stay loyal to her husband, but in her anguish she runs over Myrtle with Gatsby's car. Which leads to the wrongful demise of Gatsby. .
Daisy's situation invokes sympathy from the readers of the novel. Readers feel sorry for Daisy many times during the course of the plot. Daisy's forced decision between her two loves draws compassion from the readers. The hopelessness of her situation fills her with "an utterly abandoned feeling" (21). Readers feel sympathy toward Daisy because Tom, while being unfaithful to his wife, is still able to control her emotions. He convinces Daisy that she still loves him. Daisy is also a very hollow woman; she has an emptiness about her that she attempts to fill with money. Daisy doesn't have any direction in her life. Daisy is "the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool" (21).