In the novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald relies on the reoccurring image of Tom and Daisy side by side, framed by a square of artificial light to emphasize their corrupt marriage. Although Daisy complains about how miserable she is within her marriage, their basic compatibility is made clear by Fitzgerald’s use of the artificial light in the beginning of the novel. The second occurrence of the artificial light is encountered at one of Gatsby’s parties. Daisy spends a substantial amount of time with Gatsby at the party, while Tom pursues a woman he has met. The couple is eventually united by their mutual snobbishness within the “distinguished secret society” Gatsby is unable to comprehend. This leads to Tom and Daisy standing side by side at the end of the evening framed in “ten square feet of light” emanating from Gatsby’s front door. The frame of light then appears for the third and final time after Daisy accidentally runs over Myrtle Wilson driving Gatsby’s car. After the horrific accident, Nick comes to “a small rectangle of light” at the window of Tom and Daisy’s house, where the couple is sitting together, hand in hand, seemingly in agreement. The scene portrays Tom and Daisy as “well matched, united in mutual corruption.” Gatsby is eventually murdered for running over Myrtle, something Daisy did, thus leaving Tom and Daisy and their marriage intact. Despite the repeated imagery of Tom and Daisy framed in artificial light, it is ironic that in the end it is Gatsby who is ultimately framed by the corrupt couple.
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