The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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What is revealed about Daisy's character when she offers Tom the pencil at Gatsby's party? Has she undergone a change?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter six, Daisy and Tom Buchanan attend one of Jay Gatsby's magnificent parties, which is both exciting and appalling to Daisy. During the party, Daisy manages to sit with Gatsby privately on his front steps. Afterward, Tom begins flirting with a young woman and Daisy passive-aggressively hands him a gold pencil to write down the woman's address. After doing so, Daisy turns to Nick and comments that the girl Tom is flirting with is "common but pretty."

Daisy's action reveals that she is fed up with her husband's blatant infidelity and feels more confident and secure knowing that she can fall back on Jay Gatsby. At this point in the novel, Daisy has reconnected with her former lover and is less concerned about Tom's affairs. Since she has also been carrying on an affair, Daisy no longer laments about her marriage. Daisy has transformed from being embarrassed and upset by her husband's infidelity to feeling confident and secure in her relationship with Jay Gatsby, which is why she casually offers Tom a gold pencil to write down a random woman's address.

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Stephanie Gregg eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Daisy has, by this point in the novel, been reunited with her long-lost love, James Gatz--ahem, Jay Gatsby.  Tom has been having illicit affairs literally since their honeymoon, during which he embarrassed Daisy by having a car wreck with a woman (a little foreshadowing, perhaps?) that ended up in the newspaper.  Now that Daisy has newfound security with Gatsby, she feels confident enough to sarcastically offer Tom a pencil--a gold one, symbolizing the fact that he can keep his money, too--when he says he wants to go over to another table to finish dinner during Gatsby's party.  In this way, Daisy lets Tom know that SHE knows he is going to flirt with or perhaps even pick up another woman.  She even provides the means for Tom to write down her number or her address.  With Gatsby by her side, she no longer feels the need to tolerate Tom's emotional abuse for the sake of his social status and money.

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