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Does Tom's wife know he is having an affair in The Great Gatsby?

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flyingyom | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 18, 2013 at 2:09 AM via web

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Does Tom's wife know he is having an affair in The Great Gatsby?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 19, 2013 at 4:54 PM (Answer #1)

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Daisy does know that Tom is having an affair. Tom's dalliance is discussed early in the novel, in the first chapter, when Nick goes to have dinner with Tom and Daisy. 

Jordan mentions Tom's affair when Tom takes a phone call during the dinner party, saying that it is Tom's mistress calling. 

Jordan Baker, a female golfer and friend of Daisy, informs Nick of Tom’s affair with Myrtle Wilson in a noticeably nonchalant manner. Nick’s reaction is that Daisy should “rush out of the house” and escape this immoral situation.

Daisy, however, seems to resent the situation but also to accept it. The drama that the situation creates also creates a part for Daisy to play, a role, and she seems to enjoy the attention this role brings her.

Nick does not condone this state of affairs and it is something of a disappointment to his expectations. He had hoped to find a sophisticated social scene in the east, but instead finds a tawdry drama being played by his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom.

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