In The Great Gatsby, what is the symbol of Daisy's marriage in Chapter VII where Gatsby shows surprise?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The visible symbol of Daisy's marriage to Tom is their daughter Pammy. At the Buchanans' home, Gatsby and Nick were sitting with Daisy and Jordan while Tom was momentarily out of the room. A nurse (nanny) brought the little girl into the room. Daisy greeted her daughter effusively:

"Bles-sed pre-cious," she crooned, holding out her arms. "Come to your own mother that loves you."

The little girl (Pammy) ran to her mother and buried her face in Daisy's dress. When Daisy told her daughter to stand up and say hello, Nick and Gatsby took turns shaking her little hand. Nick noticed Gatsby's reaction:

Afterward he kept looking at the child with surprise. I don't think he had ever really believed in its existence before.

Gatsby was amazed to see Pammy standing before him, flesh-and-blood proof that Daisy's relationship with Tom had created a child. His dream was to wipe out the previous five years and repeat the past with Daisy, and her daughter's presence did not fit into his plan. He did not know how to deal with the reality of the little girl.


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