The Significance of Weather in Chapter Five, the Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 3 (819 words) Published: October 12, 2012
Enrapturing his readers with a piecemeal portrayal of a mysterious, charming millionaire named Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts a young, ambitious man trying to climb up the golden ladder to reach the insurmountable ground with all his effort. At the top lies Daisy, a beautiful old lover whom Gatsby has dressed up with fantasy, and beside her lies himself attired in an elaborate golden gown. Gatsby’s persistent anticipation reaches its peak in The Great Gatsby with the presence of symbolic rain, intensifying the image of Gatsby’s pure love.

Fitzgerald parallelizes rain’s damp, nebulous aspect to Gatsby’s indecisive behavior, underlying Gatsby’s vulnerability to the extreme. The self-managing, reserved man loses his self-control as he expects the meeting with Daisy. Although rain pours down, Gatsby remains impervious to his surroundings, often responding “blankly” and “vaguely” to Nick. He reads through a journal and stares out at “bleared windows” with the same “vacant eyes”. This array of visual imageries followed by “damp mist” and “dew” drop displays an analogy with rain, showing similarity between dull atmosphere and Gatsby’s hollow mind. Gatsby no longer appears as a millionaire who throws extravagant parties every week, but an immature lovesick, soaked in a rush of anxiety. Through the juxtaposition of the confident, young rich man and helpless, childlike figure, Fitzgerald effectively paraphrases Gatsby’s capability to lower himself from his detached balcony to the ground level where he engages in more personal, genuine love affair. Agitating the weather for the first time, Fitzgerald employs the rain motif to cast a drastic change in weather, intensifying the emotion of the characters in chapter 5. As the swell of anxiety sweeps over Gatsby as he meets Daisy. Nick describes his empathic intensity of emotion when he hears “the loud beating of my[his] own heart I[he] pulled the door to against the increasing rain”(86) . When sun later shines Daisy...
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