The Great Gatsby-Plaza Hotel

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The Great Gatsby

This passage from novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald occurs at the end of chapter seven, when Nick, Gatsby, Daisy, Tom and Jordan are at the Plaza Hotel in New York. It is the hottest day of the summer and Tom and Gatsby are in the middle of a quarrel, after Tom initiates a confrontation with Gatsby whereby he accuses Gatsby of running a bootlegging operation. This then turns into a quarrel over Daisy, which eventually results in Daisy feeling closer to Tom and away from Gatsby. This passage is significant in the way that if reflects some of the most prominent themes of this novel, such as Gatsby’s undespairing hope and man’s amoral pursuit of wealth. These themes are explored by the use of various literary features such as symbolisms and imagery. The failure for Gatsby to achieve his long-yearned dream is confirmed in this passage, which is then later used to accentuate Gatsby’s hopeful nature. This confirmation initially happens through Tom’s definitive proof of Gatsby’s past criminal activities- “That drug-store business was just small change, but you’ve got something on now that Walter’s afraid to tell me about”. This then exposes to the audience a strikingly flawed aspect of Gatsby’s character; especially from Nick’s description of Gatsby’s startling face expression- “He looked… as if he had ‘killed a man’”. This aspect is further highlighted when Gatsby begins to “talk excitedly to Daisy, denying everything, defending his name against accusations that had not been made”. It is evident at this point in the passage that up until this point in the novel, Fitzgerald has been intentionally shrouding this aspect of Gatsby with a mysterious, distant impression of Gatsby, his background and the source of his wealth. Consequently, an equally striking impression of Gatsby’s “dream” is exposed to the audience- rather than being a hopeful dream, it is portrayed to be more of a naïve obsession of recovering a blissful past with Daisy....
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