Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Literature Analysis

The Great Gatsby
1. The Great Gatsby is a novel about a young man named Nick Carraway who moves to a rich neighborhood.  He develops an attraction toward a woman living in the area named Jordan Baker.  She is pretty and wealthy and informs Nick about his extravagant and somewhat mysterious neighbor.  This neighbor, Jay Gatsby, throws huge parties inviting other people who are famous and rich and to Nick's surprise he is invited to one.  There he again sees Jordan.  He also learns of his cousin, Daisy's, faulty marriage, her husband, Tom, is cheating on her.  A woman named Myrtle who is also married is "the other woman".  She taunts Tom about Daisy and even though he is unfaithful to her he still believes he loves her and promptly punches Myrtle in the nose for her rude behavior.  Nick learns from spending some time with Gatsby that Gatsby had once loved Daisy.  Upon hearing this Nick tries to set Gatsby up with Daisy once again since her current relationship isn't suitable for her and he thinks Gatsby would be much nicer.  However, when Tom finds out about the adulterous relationship he is furious despite his having one himself.  He insults Gatsby in front of Daisy about how he attained his wealth and Daisy decides she doesn't really love Gatsby after all.  Daisy ran over Myrtle with Gatsby's car and even though she hurt him Gatsby still loved her and said that he had done it.  Myrtle's husband came and shot Gatsby and then himself.  Tom ended up leaving Daisy.

The author intended this to be an end to the American Dream.  Everything surrounding Tom, his neighbor, his cousin, and his own life seemed to be falling from near perfection to destruction.  The fall of the American Dream was portrayed in the life of the wealthy being nothing but a big party really because behind the money there was no emotion.  Adultery and greed for money prompted the rich.  The American Dream was only that, a dream, no perfect life was lead just with money.

2. The theme of the novel was focused on the misinterpretations people make. An assumption made by many is that the life of the the wealthy is glamorous and beautiful.  The ongoing theme of the novel was going against the belief that all wealthy lead a good life.  Every wealthy character ended up being unhappy or even dying.  Even Nick was left with the realization of the end of an age, he realized there was once a time of fun and play but it had disintegrated into a time of despair.  People make assumptions every day but Fitzgerald put the view of the accused into perspective.  For those who believed all wealthy lead lives the same, he showed a drastically contrasting view towards that.

3. The tone is somber.  It certainly isn't a happy novel and the tone sets the mood for a somber tale.  It is also somewhat sophisticated because it is describing the life of the rich.

"I hope she'll be a fool--that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool... You see, I think everything's terrible anyhow... And I know.  I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything."

"I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life."

"Filled with faces dead and gone.  Filled with friends gone now forever.  I can't forget so long as I live the night they shot Rosy Rosenthal there... they shot him three times in the belly and drove away."

4. Simile- "Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols weighing down their own white dresses against the singing breeze of the fans."  Helps to keep mental images of how the girls look and how they are viewed by others.  Also, it helps depict how they act.

Symbol- "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us.  It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning--So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."  The green light in this quote is symbolic of Gatsby's love towards Daisy because he always watched for the green light at her house from his porch. It helps create a sense of the type of relationship they had.

Anaphora- "In two weeks it'll be the longest day in the year... Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it?  I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it." This is emphasizing her sadness and also the importance the longest day of the year serves for her.

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