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Critical examination of a passage in Great Gatsby

This passage is from the great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It tells a story, specifically the history which Gatsby and Daisy had. Daisy promised to wait for Gatsby until the war ended. But as it is Daisy’s youth and need for love and attention has made her insecure to stay alone for so long. Soon she attended parties and dances. At one of them she met the safe and strong Tom Buchanan. Despite the fact that she loved Jay, he was not there, so she married Tom. The diction used in this passage as well as in the whole novel is simple.

Therefore Fitzgerald uses simple language to illustrate everyday aspects, such as the decline of the American dream as well as the hollowness of the upper class. By using simple language it makes the audience bigger that can relate to the novel, and therefore makes the novel universal. Great usage of the s-alliteration is used in “while a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shinning dust. ” This describes the action of the multitude ladies moving around is described successfully. Fitzgerald’s style might be called imagistic. The language used is full of images-concrete verbal pictures.

There is water imagery in descriptions of the rain, Long Island Sound, and the swimming pool. There are the Godlike eyes of Dr. Eckleburg and in words such as incarnation, and grail. Abstract images are used as well when there is referred to the artificial world as snobbery, sadness. These images do not only describe the world in which the characters live but shows that it does not matter how much power and wealth the characters have, they are still unhappy. Part of these concrete images is the color images. “While a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust.

At the gray tea hour there were always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low, sweet fever, while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the sad horns around the floor. ” Fitzgerald uses these color images in such a way that it does not only describe but reinforces the themes as well. The reference to golden, silver, shining, twilight emphasizes the focus the characters had on power and wealth, which is part of the value system. These words do describe a bright and beautiful world, but it does not have much behind it of substance.

Fitzgerald uses words such as gray to describe the tea hour, which re-establishes the how these rich characters might experience it. This is an underlined description since the characters that lives in East Egg do not see it this way at all. Some images might more properly called symbols for the way they point beyond themselves to previous events such as the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, for instance, or Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes, or Dan Cody’s yacht. By using these images Fitzgerald transforms what is on the surface a realistic social novel of the 1920’s into a myth.

The word usage throughout this chapter implicitly establishes a connection between the weather and the emotional atmosphere of the novel. Daisy began to move with the season, she changed just like the season and could not wait for Jay. The previous chapter took place on the hottest day of the summer. Later in this chapter it is early morning. Autumn-symbol of change and of the approach of death is in the air. The gardener informs Gatsby that he will drain the pool, because the falling leaves will clog the pipes.

Gatsby asks him to wait a day because he has never used the pool and wants to take a swim. The two major themes in this novel is the system theme where money and power plays a full-size role. In this world power comes from money. Money takes part of the riots at the parties, the social chaos. “she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men” Money plays a part in the glitter, bright and beautiful world where it hides their true feelings. Another theme involved in this novel is the theme of the American dream.

This American dream is lived by the people who live in West egg. Jay lives there and has created his own American dream. Gatsby’s love for Daisy was an illusion of what he had created of her from their history. Just as the American dream – the pursuit of happiness – has degenerated into a quest for mere wealth, Gatsby’s powerful dream of happiness with Daisy has become the motivation for lavish excesses and criminal activities. This quote reinforces that: “stretched out his hand desperately as if to snatch only wisp of air, to save a fragment of the spot that she had made lovely for him.

But it was all going by too fastand he knew that he had lost that part of it, the freshest and the best, forever. ” Chapter8, pg 153 With all the imagery and word usage Fitzgerald makes a clear introduction and follow through of the themes. The themes of the American dream as well as the system theme is repeatedly reinforced in most images and symbolism used in the novel. My personal point of view this was a fabulously written book, and the word usage could not have complemented the the themes better.

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