He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter V) on Rap Genius

Meaning

In this passage, Gatsby’s shirts represent new life and opportunities for Daisy, and Carraway (Fitzgerald?) lapses into poetry. The alliteration of ‘sheer silk’ and ‘fine flannel’ serves to emphasize the abundance of fabric. She realizes that she could’ve had this amazing life with Gatsby and compares it to her life with Tom and becomes sad. The shirts are symbolic of nostalgia and Daisy’s past life with Gatsby. Comparing Gatsby to Tom, the description of Tom’s appearance is a lot classier than Gatsby’s,

“Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 6).

Tom’s appearance is illfitting to Daisy’s personality compared to Gatsby’s lively shirts.

“It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice…” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 9).

She was described as “bright,” “thrilling,” and passionate.“ She is realizing that neither of them are happy in their marriage and she regrets being with Tom because she is seeing how alike she and Gatsby are.The above passage also mentions that her face was sad; she is not concealing her emotions about her relationship.

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