"They're such beautiful shirts, she sobbed, her muffled in the folds. It makes me sad because I've never seen such beautiful shirts." -Daisy
(pg.98) What does this quote from The Great Gatsby tell you about Daisy?
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Well, one of the most important things that this quote tells the reader about Daisy is that she is extremely materialistic. If the reader has not yet picked up on that fact, this quote is sure to give away that information. Daisy says this the very first time she visits Gatsby's mansion. She is overwhelmed by everything that she sees, and Gatsby's bedroom (which is where she is when she says this quote) is the last place that he takes her to on the tour that he gives Daisy of the mansion. Although Tom and Daisy are wealthy, Gatsby is very over-the-top in terms of showing off what he has. It seems that Daisy is jsut so overexcited about how rich Gatsby is that at this point she can no longer contain herself -- which is why she says what she say in that quote.
It is hard to understand exactly why Daisy is crying over Gatsby's display of his expensive tailor-made shirts. She realizes that he wanted to win her by becoming rich. She already came from a wealthy family. He voice "is full of money," as Gatsby says. She is married to a rich man, and she knows that wealth doesn't bring happiness, but you can't escape from wealth if you have it. And then by having it and making a conspicuous display of having it, you induce other people like Gatsby to try to emulate you. When he makes a rather vulgar display of his wealth with his shirts, he is doing what the old-money rich people do in a more subtle way. She sees that money can't really buy much but frivolous luxuries, and that she herself is one of those frivolous luxuries. This is part of the reason for her burst of tears, but there is a lot more behind them.
Perhaps the shirts symbolise something, just like the pearls symbolised the wealth associated with Tom.
In my opinion, it shows the rainbow that life could have been with Gatsby. It could have been "beautiful", with love and material possessions. Fitzgerald describes Gatsby flinging shirts out of the cupboard in a way that reminds me of a rainbow, expecially because of the fact that it's raining outside. The colors that Daisy's life could have been filled with flash before her eyes, making her aware of the fact that she missed out on something.
“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.”
Not that she's materialistic, but it shows that she is aware of Gatsby's ardent love for her. She cannot possibly return this love and she springs at the opportunity to infuse some affection in the moment. However her emotions are of empathy and sympathy for Gatsby latent love.
When was the last time you saw someone cry about someone's wardrobe?
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