Examples of Diction in the Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald uses diction to convey that Tom uses his power to manipulate and control Daisy ultimately proving Tom’s ability to force Daisy to drive. Tom becomes suspicious of Daisy’s and Gatsby’s affair and addresses Gatsby. Daisy is terrified because she doesn’t like how the confrontation occurs: But with every word she was drawing further and further into herself, so he gave that up, and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away, (Fitzgerald 134). When Fitzgerald refers to Gatsby winning Daisy back as the dead dream, it demonstrates Daisy’s lack of independence because she is reliant on her husband. After Daisy married Tom, she accomplishes her dream of having a husband who supports her financially. Tom promises her a more comfortable life, so she quickly sides with Tom because she knows she will not be as secure if she is with Gatsby. Gatsby is rich, however, he is new money and is not as established as Tom is. After Tom exposes Gatsby, he says, Go on. He won’t annoy you. I think he realizes that his presumptuous little flirtation is over, (Fitzgerald 135). By using the word presumptuous, it allows Tom to have control over Gatsby.
This makes Gatsby powerless and he cannot win over Daisy anymore. Tom feels safer about his relationship with Daisy because he knows that his social position and reputation he has are vital to Daisy’s self-image. She would not sacrifice her old money status for any feelings she has for Gatsby. During the first wave feminism, women started to become more independent and did not let men have control over them: The product of a ‘feminine revolution startling in the shock of its abruptness,’ she was living in the city independently of her family,’ (The American Woman 325). However, Daisy belongs to the higher social class and Tom continues to have power over her. He is confident and predicts that she would never leave him because he can support Daisy. Overall, Tom being able to manipulate and control Daisy illustrates the lack of independence Daisy has.