The Great Gatsby

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His Message

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, “The Great Gatsby” utilizes characters to describe the conformity of society during the time period of the 1920’s. Fitzgerald uses diction to describe scenery and convey the motive of people in the 1920’s, who were more interested in impressing others and obtaining material success than moral principles. “A stout, middle-aged man, with enormous owl eyes spectacles…somewhat drunk…staring unsteady concentration at the shelves of books.” (Fitzgerald) The structure of this sentence focuses on the surroundings and description of large size things that help reveal who the man is. By reflecting back to the use of tone and the academic language helps identify Fitzgerald’s explanation of the 1920’s being a time of excessive materialization. Even more so when he describes the man’s glasses as “enormous owl eyes spectacles.” a metaphor for the term “owl” since this flying creature has the tendency of excessively stuffing itself with food, it’s in its nature to do so. This parallels to the nature of all the characters in “The Great Gatsby.” In which they are accommodated to acquire such luxury and possessions that it’s become pure gluttony. “As we entered he wheeled excitedly around and examined Jordan from head to foot. What do you think? He demanded impetuously…He waved his hand toward the book-shelves…As a matter of fact you needn’t bother to ascertain. I ascertained.” (Fitzgerald) The change in diction from academic to colloquial language assists to describe the mode in the “middle-aged man” who happened to be somewhat drunk, since he repeats the word “ascertain” which means to find out. He is trying to sound intelligent and use it to refer to the books on the shelves. He then goes on by saying, “Absolutely real-have pages and everything. I thought they’d be a nice durable cardboard…they‘re absolutely real.” (Fitzgerald) The discovery of real books surprised the man because books were extremely expensive back then...
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