The Great Gatsby - Stylistic Devices

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Chapter One

In Chapter One, F. Scott Fitzgerald mainly uses detail to introduce the setting and

characters. For example, when introducing the main setting of the book, he describes his house as

squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. (9). One

of these houses was Gatsby's. This detail gives the reader an idea of what kind of town this was,

and what kind of people lived in it. Fitzgerald also uses detail to introduce characters. When

introducing Daisy, one of the main characters, he says that she had bright eyes and a bright

passionate mouth with an excitement in her voice that men who cared for her found difficult to

forget... (14). These details show that Daisy is obviously a character hard to forget,

foreshadowing future events with her in the book. When he first mentions Gatsby he describes

him saying "if personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures then there was something

gorgeous about him"(6) This shows how Gatsby is looked up to in the town, and he says himself

he is never met him but there is the rumors spread about his mystery. You also see Nick's

attraction to Miss Baker saying her voice "compelled [him] forward breathlessly as [he]

listened"(18). The detail shows his immediate attraction right away and some sort of romantic

chemistry between them.

Chapter Two

Fitzgerald uses many stylistic devices in chapter two, but the most dominant and important

is the syntax. He opens the chapter describing the valley which is about half way between the West

Egg and New York in a loose sentence. He says it's a "valley of ashes" where they take "forms of

houses" and the "men move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air"(27). The

syntax of the sentence shows the valley is gray and the poverty grown people who live there are

over looked by the wealthy people that live on both sides of them. This is where the poor

characters of the book live. Above the gray valley Fitzgerald introduces Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.

The syntax adds more mystery to the story as he does not describe the characteristics of Eckleburg

as a person but just his eyes. He says the eyes are "blue and gigantic and "they look out of no face

but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non existent nose"(27).

The description of just his eyes, in two sentences separated by commas and not brought back up

adds to the mystery because at this point Gatsby is still a mystery man. When Tom, Daisy's husband, goes to see his mistress in New York, named Myrtle Wilson, they get into an argument. Tom doesn't like Myrtle saying Daisy's name, but Myrtle seems to think that she can. She shouts Daisy Daisy Daisy (41) to him, and he slaps her. This repetition of Daisy's name shows that Tom, even though he is cheating on her, cares about Daisy and is offended when Myrtle talks about her. Tom treats myrtle more as an object of affection and Daisy is the person he truly cares about.

Chapter Three

Fitzgerald uses detail in the beginning of chapter three to describe Gatsby's house, and his party's. A corps of caterers arrive with enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden , and the orchestra arrives at seven, a whole pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones... (44). These details show how much work Gatsby puts into his parties, and how much money he has. Then he uses detail to describe the guests saying they "conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks"(45) and they come and go even if they don't know Gatsby. Nick says that he was one of the only few that was actually invited and as soon as he arrived he attempted to find Gatsby. In chapter three Gatsby finally makes an appearance and nick describes his smile as a "rare smile" that you may "come across four or five times in...
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