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In The Great Gatsby, why is Daisy's voice "fluctuating, feverish,warm,...a deathless...

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taxi889 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted June 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM via web

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In The Great Gatsby, why is Daisy's voice "fluctuating, feverish,warm,...a deathless song" ?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2012 at 3:32 AM (Answer #1)

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At the end of Chapter Five, Nick reflects that it is Daisy's voice that captivates Gatsby,

I think that voice held him most with its fluctuating, feverish warmth because it couldn't be over-dreamed--that voice was a deathless song.

In contrast to Daisy herself, her voice "is a wild tonic in the rain" of Gatsby's confusion of emotional and moral values with material values.  Like the mesmerizing lure of the Sirens, Daisy's voice is "a deathless song" that continues the "colossal vitality of his illusion" and drives Gatsby to his eventual destruction as in Chapter Eight, her voice that is "full of money" becomes "huskier and more charming than ever." For, it is this charm of money that is the "feverish" and "deathless song" in which Gatsby corrupts his passion, perceiving love as something that can be purchased. After all, since Tom Buchanan bought Daisy for a $350,000 pearl necklace, Jay Gatsby believes he can gain Daisy by means of his material wealth.  Thus, for Gatsby, Daisy's voice, the voice of money, cannot "be over-dreamed" because in Fitzgerald's Jazz Age, the American Dream is the acquisition of wealth.

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