In the specified passages on page 104 and pages 117 and 118, Fitzgerald utilizes diction in order to enhance Gatsby’s incarnation. The purposes of these passages is in telling of Gatsby’s dreams and ambitions, while displaying Gatsby’s inability to make the right decision regarding his dreams. The first passage on page 104 sets the background of Gatsby’s life, giving reason behind his desires for wealth and success. “[Gatsby’s] parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people…” and therefore “invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.” However Fitzgerald’s purpose of the passage on pages 117 and 118 exemplifies Gatsby’s failure to make the right choice.
In this passage, Fitzgerald begins by foreshadowing by incorporating autumn imagery to depict change. When “Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees…” Fitzgerald is showing the path in which Gatsby should take in order to obtain his lifelong goals; these goals, as mentioned earlier, “he was faithful to the end”. However, his other option and preference of kissing Daisy strips the rungs off the ladder toward Gatsby’s moral achievement, forever preventing him from obtaining his dream. If Gatsby wanted to obtain his dream, then “he could climb to it, if he climbed alone”. The significance of these passages lies in Fitzgerald’s purpose of showing Gatsby’s long-desired dream, only for him to throw it all away on one kiss, showing the moral decline of the 1920’s, a major theme in the novel.
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