As a teenager reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, I was struck by the scene where Gatsby flings his expensive tailor-made silk shirts from the closet, one by one, bringing Daisy to tears. At the time, that seemed romantic: I saw the shirts as a symbol of how hard Gatsby had worked to win Daisy’s love. But why did Daisy cry?

Of course, as an older reader, the scene seems sad — a horribly misguided display of wealth that underscores how Gatsby believed wrongly that his fortune would win him the girl of his dreams. Perhaps Daisy cries because she knows it’s not that simple, and that a man’s love can’t be measured by the quality of his shirts, or the size of his bank account.

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