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Assess the precise meaning of "tricks" in the following excerpt from The Great Gatsby...

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coutelle | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM via web

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Assess the precise meaning of "tricks" in the following excerpt from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: They arrived at twilight, and as we strolled out among the sparkling hundreds Daisy’s voice was playing murmurous tricks in her throat.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM (Answer #1)

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An ongoing idea throughout Fitzgerald's characterization of Daisy is that there is not full authenticity within her. This is seen in her style of dress, manner of carrying herself, and the way in which she speaks.  In Chapter 6, when Fitzgerald describes how Daisy entered the party, he is able to continue this idea.  The "tricks" in her throat could very well indicate how her voice was troubling her.  The "tricks" could refer to the sounds her throat makes. Yet, the more symbolic meaning would be that the "murmurous tricks" her voice was playing reflected how there is not really one voice within Daisy.  

There are different aspects to Daisy's voice. Nothing certain emerges.  The voice that Daisy speaks with is duplicitous, not sincere and authentic in its desire.  Daisy enters into Gatsby's party and while Gatsby speaks with a sense of certainty and absolute commitment in trying to win her back, Daisy cannot speak with the same totality.  She is incapable of feeling the same level of emotional commitment, the same level of sentimental strength that Gatsby displays.  It is for this reason that the "murmurous tricks in her throat" could reflect the different sentiments and desires that are within her.  In contrast to Gatsby who speaks with one voice of certainty, Fitzgerald creates Daisy to speak with a voice that possesses the ability to play "murmurous tricks" both in her throat and with Gatsby's heart.


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