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Could you please tell me the religious, moral and symbolic significations of "married...

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coutelle | Valedictorian

Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:24 PM via web

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Could you please tell me the religious, moral and symbolic significations of "married from her house" in the following excerpt of The Great Gatsby, chapter 6? (I'm told it refers to the fact that Protestants could be married at home and that it meant that the wife was still virgin, had not lived with her husband-to-be)

He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated three years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house—just as if it were five years ago.

 

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:03 PM (Answer #1)

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If to "be married from her house" has the religious, moral, and symbolic implications you suggest with your question, I feel sure that they were lost on ninety-nine percent of Fitzgerald's readers, including myself. Daisy came from a wealthy family and lived in a mansion. It was the natural place to hold a big formal wedding, and if I am not mistaken (though I don't have a copy of The Great Gatsby to refer to) that mansion was where she had her big formal wedding with the comparably wealthy Tom Buchanan who brought his own impressive entourage.

I do not believe that the phrase in question has anything to do with religion or even anything to do with demonstrating that the bride is still a virgin. I think it simply means that Gatsby would like to erase the past and be the original, pristine bridegroom in the big wedding in Daisy's family home. If Gatsby could be "married from her house" it would set the family seal of approval on his relationship with Daisy; and, since her family knows everybody who is anybody in the whole region, it would set a social seal of approval on their relationship as well.

Gatsby wouldn't want to run off with Daisy and get married in Reno, Nevada. He obviously likes everything to be done in style. His love for Daisy is inspired by his desire to move up the social ladder. Every reader senses this. If "being married from her house" is meant to symbolize anything, it would symbolize Gatsby's finally attaining admission and acceptance in the American upper class. To use a term that is currently popular, Daisy would be a "trophy wife."

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