Rhetorical Devices in Great Gatsby

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Gatsby Essay
Honors English II
Asura Louise Osborne
In the 1920’s, the world was full of new inventions, dances, and drinks. The standards of even the most rigorously structured social classes were changed, allowing the rich to cut loose and throw elaborate and entertaining parties. Every day, the world was changing for the better. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work “The Great Gatsby” reflects these ideas, communicating through various rhetorical devices that the world is a magical place, and that even in times of sadness, anything is possible. Prior to the Jazz Age, growing up was associated with a loss of happiness and hope. During the 20’s, however, this standard seemed to change, pushing the perception of adulthood into something magical and frivolous. Fitzgerald reflects this in the archetypal portrayal of a city, describing it as “in white heaps and sugar lumps”. White is an archetype for purity, innocence, and hope. It illuminates the hope that the young adults living in the 1920’s felt, as well as the innocent parties they danced at, innocent not because of what took place in them, but because they were blissfully unaware of the harsh realities that existed elsewhere in the world. Happiness is also communicated in the use of the word “sunlight”, because the sun is an archetype for energy and hope. Through the personification of the city “rising up”, it is illuminated that the roaring twenties came from seemingly nowhere, almost like a fairytale. The magic of the upper classes’ world was also portrayed in the hyperbole, “all built with a wish.” In reality, the city merely began as a wish, but Fitzgerald portrays it as something that sprung up from a thought. Potentially the most illuminatory literary device is the imagery in the sentence “its wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.” The picture painted is one of excitement, hope, and perhaps most importantly, the creation of a wonderful world borne from fancy. In times of loss, a...
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