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Great gatsby

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was rereading Great Gatsby, and I'm not sure if I'm reading the following passage correctly on page 93: "Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and drssing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high. I've got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall. He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick sick and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-color disarray. WHile we admired he broughtmore and the soft rich heap mounted higher- shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, with monograms of Indian blue. suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into teh shirts and began to cry stormily. They're such beautiful shirts, she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. It makes me sad because I've never seen such- such beautiful shirts before." Now, the part of me who visits this forum is reading this literally- these shirts are so beautiful that it makes Daisy cry. But, I'm just wondering if there's something deeper underlying this passage. After all, Daisy comes from a rich background, so I would have thought that she's no stranger to beautiful things.
post #2 of 20
esquire, You've encouraged me to go back and re-read that passage when I get home tonight; and maybe the whole thing. Until then, I can't offer much insight into what she's crying about, though you can be sure it's not simply the considerable beauty and volume of Gatsby's shirt collection. I don't think it can be simply explained as the pressure of their somewhat affair welling over. I'll check it out; I taught Gatsby for a little while just out of college, so I'm sure I have a trite explanation tailored for my 10th grade class tucked away in my margin notes. I'm smacking myself for not knowing the context off the top of my head. Too much Technical Writing is numbing me. On a side-note, I now have an odd image in my mind of Gatsby photographing his pile of English-made shirts with a digital camera and carefully uploading the images, while Daisy sulks in the mansion across the water, and the green light at the end of the dock glows all alone.
post #3 of 20
I always thought the passage was more of a character study of Gatsby. It shows how he's obssesed with becoming upper class, so he trys to copy their style and clothing. And, it shows how he obsessive he can be. Not even someone like his rival would have collected so many shirts. His obsession with Daisy spills over into over facets of his life, such as his clothing.
post #4 of 20
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On a side-note, I now have an odd image in my mind of Gatsby photographing his pile of English-made shirts with a digital camera and carefully uploading the images, while Daisy sulks in the mansion across the water, and the green light at the end of the dock glows all alone.
This post is definitely a nominee for funniest post ever. I almost laughed vitamin water out my nose reading that.
post #5 of 20
I thought that she was crying because she broke up with him because he was poor and married her husband who she doen'st love, and now gatsby has become rich... but hey, not only wasn't I not an English major, this is not my first language...
post #6 of 20
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(globetrotter @ 01 Oct. 2004, 09:40) I thought that she was crying because she broke up with him because he was poor and married her husband who she doen'st love, and now gatsby has become rich... but hey, not only wasn't I not an English major, this is not my first language...
I think this is true as well as the previous interpretation. The interpretation you describe certainly seems like the point that is running most closely to the surface; however, the previous one mentioned- about Gatsby's neuvo-riche enthusiasm- is a current that runs throughout the entire book albeit slightly further below the surface.
Or, maybe, she as us (on the forum) was emotionally moved at the sight of beautiful sartorial items whenever she saw them, and in this instance was moved to tears. Naawww.... Jon.
post #7 of 20
Okay, if you thought I was ignorant before, I'm now about to reveal how little I know about anything. BUT... Didn't Daisy end up shooting somebody in the story? If so, then it seems to me there's something brewing there that's deeper than just a love of shirts. Is there any indication in the book of some previous history that might account for her out-of-proportion reaction? (Not that many of you haven't wept openly in your various bespoke houses... )
post #8 of 20
I think Daisy ran over someone (an annoying woman, someone's wife, I can't remember) with Gatsby's car, and someone shoots Gatsby in the end, but it's not Daisy. IIRC.
post #9 of 20
She runs over Myrtle Wilson, who is screwing around with Tom (unbeknownst to her I believe). Myrtle's disgruntled husband, George Wilson, finds out about her death, and goes to Gatsby's house to confront him. IIRC Gatsby had taken the blame for the accident to protect Daisy, so George thought he was responsible and ends up shooting him.
post #10 of 20
I have always interpreted Daisy's breakdown over the shirts as evidence (as if any more were needed) that she is a hopeless flake.  Part of the tragedy and comedy of the novel is that Gastby has done all this work reinventing himself for the sake of someone who is manifestly unworthy.  Not that Gastby is himself the picture of probity and virtue.  Nonetheless, what Fitzgerald is trying to get accross is the silliness and falseness of the illusion Gatsby has been harboring all these years.  And, of course, Gatsby ought to have known better, since Daisy gilted him in the first place for a fundamentally shallow reason.  Gatsby creates an illusion of himself for the sake of an illusion he holds of someone else.  Everything about him is fake, except for a certain talent and drive, which should have been put to better uses.  But his character is so shallow that he can't conceive of doing anything noble.
post #11 of 20
I'll go with remorse about what could have been on Daisy's part, also she understands that all these clothes show her worth in Gatsby's eye's bc's she knows he did this all for her and she understand's this. She's not all that much of a flake
post #12 of 20
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I'll go with remorse about what could have been on Daisy's part, also she understands that all these clothes show her worth in Gatsby's eye's bc's she knows he did this all for her and she understand's this. She's not all that much of a flake
Yes, but the remorse is only prompted by the knowledge: "Gee, he's rich now. I blew it." The underlying reason is still shallow. Whe she has a chance to leave Tom for Gatsby, she doesn't.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
As shallow as Daisy was, would Gatsby have become as succesful as he did without her memory driving him? And, did he actually go to Oxford? I don't know if this was another one of his lies, or if he really did go for only a semester. I always doubted it because Daisy's husband pointed out that no true Oxford man would wear a pink blazer.
post #14 of 20
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As shallow as Daisy was, would Gatsby have become as succesful as he did without her memory driving him?
I doubt it.  That's part of the tragedy.  Gatsby's genuine talent is channelled into foolish ends.
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And, did he actually go to Oxford? I don't know if this was another one of his lies, or if he really did go for only a semester.
I believe that Tom Buchanan has someone investigate Gatsby, who turns out to have attended for five months after WWI, on a partial scholarship that the British offered to WWI officers. Correction: I checked.  Tom does not commission an investigation.  He simply asserts that Gatsby never went to Oxford, and Gatsby comes back with the bit about the scholarship.  It's not clear if this is a "climbdown, backfill lie" or the truth.  I'm inclined to believe that it's all phony, and Gatsby never laid eyes on Oxford.
post #15 of 20
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This book had a terrible influence on me.  I am from St. Paul, MN. Fitzgerland went to my HS.  Gatsby is about Midwesterners in New York (from which I write).  I took the book as a kind of guide.
Just don't marry a psycho and you should be OK
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