Sunday, December 9, 2012

Literature Analysis #5: The Great Gatsby


1.      Gatsby is a rich man who is a war veteran who has come to Long Island to find his lost love. Daisy Buchanan is Gatsby’s lost love but she is already married to a man named Tom Buchanan. Nick first met Gatsby at one of his regular, crazy Saturday night parties. The narrator of the story is Nick Carraway and he helps introduce Gatsby to Daisy, however, he doesn’t realize that they had previously known each other from when they were younger. Tom is constantly cheating on Daisy with his mistress, Myrtle. Tom and Daisy have an affair up until; Tom meets Gatsby and goes digging into his past. He finds out that Gatsby came from a poor family but, he still didn’t figure out how he became so wealthy. Daisy ends up running over Myrtle; however, he tells Nick that it wasn’t her driving. Tom tells Myrtle’s husband who ran her over and he ends up killing Gatsby and himself while, Tom and Daisy run away.

2.      The theme of the novel is to let your past be your past. Gatsby should have never reconciled with Daisy because if it wasn’t for her he would have still been left alive. Because if we try and replicate our past then it forces us constantly back into it.

3.      The tone is cynical and ironic at times. Nick is a very cynical person so he makes the reader interpret the story in a cynical way which changes your perspective on some of the characters.

4.      Setting: The setting takes place in Long Island, NY.


Tone: The tone of the book is cynical and ironic. "I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a – of a rose, an absolute rose. Doesn’t he?" She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation: "An absolute rose?"


Symbolism: The green light that is in the lighthouse far off from Gatsby’s house symbolizes the unattainable dream. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then.”


Mood: The mood is the same as the tone because the tone affects the reader’s feelings about the book as a whole and the reader.


Imagery: "Please don’t." Her voice was cold, but the rancor was gone from it. She looked at Gatsby. "There, Jay," she said – but her hand as she tried to light a cigarette was trembling. Suddenly she threw the cigarette and the burning match on the carpet.”


Diction: The author’s diction is very complex because I feel like Fitzgerald does a good job of writing in the way people talked during the time the novel was written.


Syntax: The sentence structure of the novel varies which makes the novel a better read. Fitzgerald constantly switches between lengthy sentences to simple and brief sentences.


Metaphor: “I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone—he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling.”


1.      Direct Characterization: “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”


Direct Characterization: “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty.”


Indirect Characterization: “He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.”


Indirect Characterization: “That’s my Middle West, the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark.  I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.”

2.      The author doesn’t change his syntax and diction when he is describing a character because he uses informal diction and syntax throughout the book and not just when describing characters.

3.      Nick is a static and flat character because during most of the novel he tries to help Gatsby out as a friend. Tom is constantly trying to find out Gatsby’s dirty little secret but, Nick is always watching out for Gatsby so he doesn’t do something he regrets.

4.      When I finished the novel I didn’t really felt like I met someone in real life because I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. I have never been in a situation like the one presented to the characters in this novel but, I still recommend the book because it was a good read.

1 comment:

  1. i loved this book! looks like you did too. great analysis :)