The Great Gatsby - Stylistic Devices

The Great Gatsby - Stylistic Devices

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Chapter One

In Chapter One, F. Scott Fitzgerald mainly uses detail to introduce the setting and

characters. For example, when introducing the main setting of the book, he describes his house as

squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. (9). One

of these houses was Gatsby's. This detail gives the reader an idea of what kind of town this was,

and what kind of people lived in it. Fitzgerald also uses detail to introduce characters. When

introducing Daisy, one of the main characters, he says that she had bright eyes and a bright

passionate mouth with an excitement in her voice that men who cared for her found difficult to

forget... (14). These details show that Daisy is obviously a character hard to forget,

foreshadowing future events with her in the book. When he first mentions Gatsby he describes

him saying "if personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures then there was something

gorgeous about him"(6) This shows how Gatsby is looked up to in the town, and he says himself

he is never met him but there is the rumors spread about his mystery. You also see Nick's

attraction to Miss Baker saying her voice "compelled [him] forward breathlessly as [he]

listened"(18). The detail shows his immediate attraction right away and some sort of romantic

chemistry between them.

Chapter Two

Fitzgerald uses many stylistic devices in chapter two, but the most dominant and important

is the syntax. He opens the chapter describing the valley which is about half way between the West

Egg and New York in a loose sentence. He says it's a "valley of ashes" where they take "forms of

houses" and the "men move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air"(27). The

syntax of the sentence shows the valley is gray and the poverty grown people who live there are

over looked by the wealthy people that live on both sides of them. This is where the poor

characters of the book live. Above the gray valley Fitzgerald introduces Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.

The syntax adds more mystery to the story as he does not describe the characteristics of Eckleburg

as a person but just his eyes. He says the eyes are "blue and gigantic and "they look out of no face

but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non existent nose"(27).

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The description of just his eyes, in two sentences separated by commas and not brought back up

adds to the mystery because at this point Gatsby is still a mystery man. When Tom, Daisy's husband, goes to see his mistress in New York, named Myrtle Wilson, they get into an argument. Tom doesn't like Myrtle saying Daisy's name, but Myrtle seems to think that she can. She shouts Daisy Daisy Daisy (41) to him, and he slaps her. This repetition of Daisy's name shows that Tom, even though he is cheating on her, cares about Daisy and is offended when Myrtle talks about her. Tom treats myrtle more as an object of affection and Daisy is the person he truly cares about.

Chapter Three

Fitzgerald uses detail in the beginning of chapter three to describe Gatsby's house, and his party's. A corps of caterers arrive with enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden , and the orchestra arrives at seven, a whole pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones... (44). These details show how much work Gatsby puts into his parties, and how much money he has. Then he uses detail to describe the guests saying they "conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks"(45) and they come and go even if they don't know Gatsby. Nick says that he was one of the only few that was actually invited and as soon as he arrived he attempted to find Gatsby. In chapter three Gatsby finally makes an appearance and nick describes his smile as a "rare smile" that you may "come across four or five times in life"(52). However, the dominant stylistic device in chapter three is point of view. On page 60, the narrator, Nick Carraway, looks back on one of Gatsby's party's. This is called retrospective narration. He says that until much later, they absorbed me infinitely less than my personal affairs. (60). This retrospective narration also shows foreshadowing for the future, when Nick says until much later... .

Chapter Four
The dominant stylistic device in chapter four is organization. In the first few pages, Fitzgerald uses classification to describe all the different types of people who come to Gatsby's party's. For example, from the East Egg come the Chester Beckers and the Leeches and a man named Bunsen whom I knew at Yale... (65). From the West Egg come the Poles and the Mulreadys and Cecil Roebuck... (66). A man named Klipspringer who was there for so often and long he became known as "the boarder"(67). These lists go on even much further, breaking up the different kinds of people that go to Gatsby's party's. These lists also show that Gatsby invited so many people to his party's, that he probably did not know many of them. He also uses tone to show his feelings towards Gatsby after he gets to know him more after lunch. Nick is disappointed after he speaks more with Gatsby and he says he was "sorry [he] ever set foot upon his overpopulated lawn"(72). He then develops a tone of being content towards the end of the chapter saying he is happy with who he is because he knows he is honest unlike Tom and Gatsby.
Chapter Five
In Chapter five, Fitzgerald uses a lot of diction to show Gatsby's and Daisy's relationship. For
example, when Gatsby sees Daisy get out of the car, he is pale as death (91). This simile shows
how nervous Gatsby is to see Daisy for the first time in so long. Also, Nick describes some of the
sounds he heard when Gatsby and Daisy were talking, such as a choking murmur and Daisy's
voice on a clear artificial note. (91). The connotations of choking and artificial are not good,
but awkward. However, towards the end of their first meeting, their relationship gets better.
Daisy's voice when whispering to Gatsby is described as a voice that held him most with its
fluctuating, feverish, warmth... (101). The connotations of the adjectives describing Daisy's
voice, fluctuating and feverish, are now much better and warm. After nick excuses him self he says when he returns Gatsby was glowing, "without a word or gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room"(94).

Chapter Six
The dominant stylistic device in chapter six is point of view. Nick learns about Gatsby's past life, and describes his thoughts about Gatsby. The reader finds out he is James Gatz from North Dakota so the mystery of Gatsby is slowly decoding in this chapter. He uses retrospective narration, once again, when looking back on what he learned about Gatsby. Nick also learns about Gatsby's and
Daisy's relationship five years ago, and writes down his thoughts now about it. On page 118, there is foreshadowing in Nick's thoughts as he reflects on Gatsby's and Daisy's relationship five years ago. You then find out the reasons Gatsby has been having the parties was to get daisy's attention or to meet someone who knows her.
Chapter Seven
The climax of the story happens in chapter seven. Daisy and Gatsby are in the car, Daisy driving, and she accidentally kills Tom's mistress, Myrtle. Though Daisy was driving, Gatsby is willing to take the blame for her. The main stylistic device in this chapter is point of view. There is so much going on, from Gatsby trying to get Daisy to leave Tom for her to Tom's mistress getting killed by Daisy. Nick is not involved in any of this, but gives his thoughts on each event as the chapter goes on. For example, he feels that Gatsby standing outside of the house waiting for Daisy is a despicable occupation. (150). Though Nick is not involved in the killing of Myrtle, only his point of view is shown. This is his story, so even though the major events are happening to Daisy, Tom and Gatsby, he gives his reflection upon it, and not them. It is also ironic that Myrtle got hit and killed by Gatsby's expensive car. As seen in chapter two myrtle was materialistic and wanted money so much, which were reasons for her liking tom. Then she get hit by non other then a very expensive car, so she got killed by one thing she wanted so bad, money.
Chapter Eight
The dominant stylistic device in chapter eight is point of view and detail. Nick is able to reflect upon Daisy's and Gatsby's relationship from many years ago, and now. There is not much dialogue in this chapter, because Nick is writing down his thoughts on everything that happened, whether is was with Gatsby and Daisy, Tom, or Myrtles husband Wilson. This, once again, demonstrates retrospective narration. After the climax of the story, Nick has to describe everything that happened in the next few days. He uses many details, for example, to describe what the pool looked like after Gatsby was unexpectedly killed. He describes the water, saying that the touch of a cluster of leaves revolved it slowly, tracing, like the leg of a compass, a thin red circle in the water. (170). They then, too, found Wilson's body. These details of the place where Gatsby was killed show the calmness that there was after it happened. It was like everything was resolved, and the mystery was over.
Chapter Nine
The main stylistic device in chapter nine is tone. The tone that Nick has is plaintive. He reflects upon his relationship with Gatsby in this chapter, and realizes that he really does feel badly that Gatsby has died. He has become very close with Gatsby over those past few months, and knows he was a good person. He found himself to be the only one on Gatsby's side. He tries to get as many people as he can to come to Gatsby's funeral, but does not succeed. The tone in this chapter shows that despite the thoughts Nick had about Gatsby in the beginning and middle of the book, he realizes in the end that he really did care for Gatsby.Nick judges people how his father taught him to throughout the book and this is again shown in the last chapter when he is reflecting. Nick is leaving and going back East. There was one thing to be done before I left, an awkward, unpleasant thing that perhaps had better have been let alone (185). Nick wants to set things straight with Jordan Baker, but he was nervous about it. He does not want to feel unsure again.
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