- Select three passages from the book (about a paragraph or two in length) that we have NOT annotated as a class. Annotate these passages and identify the language features that Fitzgerald uses. Explain the effect of these features and why he may have chosen to use them.
- Fitzgerald uses many allusions throughout the novel. Select one of these allusions and explain the connection between it and the book.
Bonus: how can you link it to our theme of “illusion”.
“Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols, weighing down their own white dresses against the singing breeze of the fans.”
Simile- 1. The enormous couch symbolises how they are rich. Also that they are laying on it shows that they are from ‘old money’ because they aren’t out working hard for what they have. 2. Silver idols is jewellery. They are being referred to this as they are prize possessions, they are worth something and they are something, or have something, that everybody wants. 3. White represents innocence but also emptiness. By saying they’re weighing the dresses down, this means that they are drawing themselves into being more and more empty. Their rich lifestyle causes them to feel empty as they might get bored and don’t have to fight for anything, giving them no passion or drive.
“…then she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the room. ‘I’m p-paralysed with happiness.’ ”
1. Absurd means ridiculous, when something is absurd you think it’s unreasonable, where as charming is pleasant, a positive adjective. Therefore the two don’t usually go together, however, they fit with Daisy as she is seen as better than everyone else in such an absurd way but she is also sweet and likeable. She comes across as a joyful person with her life perfectly fit together. Hyperbole- 2. Daisy describes herself as ‘paralysed with happiness’ but this is hard to believe. This is because she is actually a blank person with not much emotion at all. She is perceived as a happy, untroubled, full-of-life person but as we get to know her better throughout the book, we learn that this is not true. She is actually an empty person who seems as if she is stuck, stuck between Tom and Gatsby, stuck with what to do with herself. So this is not only an exaggeration, this is an exaggeration to cover the truth, that she is not really happy at all.
“I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform…If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if we were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.”
Personification- 1. I feel like by saying he wants the world to be in uniform shows that he i blind to the fact that the world is already in uniform. So many people cover who they really are and it changes the world. The world is already ‘fake’ in a way, the way that things are hidden and stereotyped to fit what they want to happen, how they wish the world was. By putting a ‘uniform’ on the world just covers it even more. 2. The ‘gorgeousness’ and ‘heightened sensitivity’ is only special about Gatsby because his life is fake, controlled to be the way he desired it to be rather than the way it was meant to be. People look at Gatsby and see his life as amazing, close to perfect as he has lots of money and friends but there’s one important thing missing, happiness. Gatsby is not happy because he’s creating his life to fit for someone else, not for himself. How can you ever be happy if you’re not living for yourself? 3. You could say that Gatsby is one of these ‘machines that register earthquakes’ because ever since he has made this life for himself, he has interfered with so many others. He has used Nick, turned him into somebody he once was not and also got in the middle of Tom and Daisy’s already messy relationship. He is the one causing cracks in other’s lives.
“I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credits and investments securities and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew” Midas is a greek god that was known for everything he touched turned into gold. He requested for this power and was very excited about it, until he realised that it was not as much a power but a curse. He could no longer eat because it would turn to gold, nor could he touch his loved ones anymore. To escape this power, he must go to river that would turn him back to normal. This relates to Gatsby as he too thought that gaining heaps of money, becoming known for something would be a dream. However, it too didn’t end out well for him, he didn’t get Daisy and his ‘friends’ didn’t even know who he was. Also, at the end of the novel he escaped this life by falling into the water to die, giving up on Daisy and the life he created for her. J.P Morgan was a famous banker, he ruled the finance world in his time. He had control over a large amount of America’s finance, however, this ended in being not such a good thing as they started to believe that he had too much control, that he was using it to his advantage. Gatsby also owned a lot of money, too much for his own good. He just threw big parties and got people to like him through his wealth but after all of that, the benefit that he was looking for did not work out. Maecenas was a Roman statesman and patron. He worked under Octavian who trusted him very much to represent her politically. “His name is the symbol of the wealthy, generous patron of the arts.” All of these men link back to be wealthy and well-known but alway want and expect too much. This relates to The Great Gatsby as Gatsby is greedy, so much so that he loses everything, it all became pointless and he was worthless.