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Foreshadowing in The Great Gatsby

By laxmik2308 Oct 29, 2014 1616 Words
What is foreshadowing It is giving the reader a hint of what is to come through the setting, the characters words or actions, or a symbol. It usually implies a warning of something negative or even disastrous about to happen through clues interwoven into descriptive passages or the story line itself. In the Great Gatsby it occurs quite frequently in the novel to indicate what may happen. Fitzgerald uses colour, imagery, symbolism, dialogue and pathetic fallacy to foreshadow Gatsbys fate. So today I am going to talk about the foreshadowing of Gatsbys fate (so his affair with Daisy and his death) and whether his fate is controlled by internal or external forces. Daisy and Gatsbys Relationship Green Light -The green light on Daisys dock represents Gatsbys hope to reunite with her. Gatsby stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way... I Nick glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a green light... that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness. (pg. 24-5) Although when we first read this we were unaware at the time of Gatsbys infatuation with Daisy and had already been introduced to both characters but had no idea they were connected. This line foreshadows that he is optimistic for being able to be with Daisy. But Gatsby vanishes from the scene after he looks at the green light. This tells us that he will also vanish from Daisys life. I think that the green light symbolises Daisy in that she is always present and that nothing will happen to her whereas Gatsby, in trying to attain her loses himself. Gatsby again mentions the green light again when he takes Daisy on a tour around his mansion. If it wasnt for the mist we could see your house across the bay, said Gatsby, you always have a green light that burns all nights at the end of your dock. From this we can see that Fitzgerald wrote this to mean something more than just Gatsby not being able to see the light clearly. It could also mean that he never sees Daisy in her true colours just as he never sees the green light clearly. He was supposing to gain the pure love from Daisy and repeat the past with her. However Daisy was not as perfect as she was in Gatsbys mind. She is a woman and with bad virtues. Although she is beautiful and charming, she is also fickle, shallow, bored, and sardonic. Daisys real nature became obvious when she chose Tom instead of Gatsby in Chapter 7, and then she allowed Gatsby to take the blame for killing Myrtle Wilson even though the fact is that she was the one that caused the accident. The Reunion - The day Gatsby and Daisy are reunited is foreshadowed trouble. The day agreed upon was pouring rain. (pg. 89) Pathetic fallacy is used here to foreshadow that their relationship would never work. However, Gatsby still tries to hold onto his dream He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an over wound clock (pg. 99). The Clock - Gatsbys love blinds him from seeing the consequences that will happen in the future. In chapter five, a clock sits on the mantle at Nicks house where Gatsby and Daisy will reunite. Out of nervousness, Gatsby knocks it over. I think Fitzgerald was using the symbolism of this event to refer to the time Gatsbys lost or the little time he has left. It foreshadows that he may stumble upon dilemma for trying to relive the past. We also see that he will stop at nothing when trying to win Daisy back. He says Cant repeat the past he cried incredulously. Why of course you can... I am going to fix everything just the way it was before, he said, nodding determinedly. (pg. 116) Gatsbys Death All major events and characters are involved with foreshadowing Gatsbys death. In chapter two, Owl Eyes was cautious and acted as if Gatsbys house was falling apart. He snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf, muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse (pg. 50).This shows that his house is unstable, which foreshadows that Gatsbys downfall. It reflects Gatsbys life as being almost fragile like a (breakable house, breakable life). The day Wilson arrives to kill Gatsby, Gatsby has decided to take a swim in the pool, and the day he swims is the first day of autumn. Autumn, as many people know, is the season where nature starts to die. Even Jordan Baker said that life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (pg. 128) This foreshadows Gatsbys death because, like the season, life starts to die. In summer, his romance with Daisy was flourishing and signified liveliness in autumn, Gatsbys death occurs and also the death of his relationship with Daisy, which signifies passing away. Just like Jordan said, by things starting over, it foreshadows that everyone will start afresh maybe apart from Nick. His decision to use his pool could also been seen as an unconscious defiance to the change of seasons, and represents yet another instance of Gatsbys unwillingness to accept the passage of time. Combined with the pathetic fallacy of autumn, this foreshadows his death. Since Nick is so close to Gatsby throughout the entire novel, in chapter eight, when Nick cannot sleep it foretells us that Gatsby is in some sort of trouble. I couldnt sleep all night a fog-horn was groaning incessantly on the Sound, and I tossed half sick between reality and savage frightening dreams. Toward dawn I heard a taxi go up Gatsbys drive and I immediately jumped out of bed and began to dress- I felt that I had something to tell him, something to warn him about and morning would be too late. (pg. 154) Nick has a nightmare and a feeling that he needs to warn Gatsby of something which foreshadows trouble headed directly towards Gatsby. There is a famous saying, characters decide ones fate. That is to say, it is his unique and fatal characters that lead him to his tragedy. I think Gatsbys fate is inevitable owing to internal (his own characteristics) and external forces (a set of circumstances). We can see that Gatsby was a man of grand passion and great dreams which was exceedingly rare in the 1920s.Fitzgerald regards this as an age of cynicism, decadence, and cruelty. Gatsbys dreams which were quintessentially to become wealthy and get into the upper-class were all for the purpose to get Daisy. I think this is where his greatest mistake lies. I believe he chose an inferior object upon which to focus his almost mystical capacity for dreaming. Just as the American Dream itself has degenerated into the crass pursuit of material wealth, Gatsby, too, strived only for wealth once he had fallen in love with Daisy, whose trivial, limited imagination could conceive of nothing greater. Ultimately I believe it is this internal driving force which he possesses in which he wants to replay the past is what leads to his death. It is significant that Gatsby is not murdered for his criminal connections, but rather for his unswerving devotion to Daisy. As Nick writes, Gatsby thus pays a high price for living too long with a single dream. Up to the moment of his death, Gatsby cannot accept that his dream is over he continues to insist that Daisy may still come to him, though it is clear to everyone, including the reader, that she is bound inextricably to Tom. Gatsbys death thus seems almost inevitable, given that a dreamer cannot exist without his dreams through Daisys betrayal, he effectively loses his reason for living. Gatsbys dreams are the epitomes of American Dream. The American Dream developed in the nineteenth century, whose original essence is that no matter who you are, where you are from, you can make your dreams come true if you work hard to live a new, free and better life. This is so called American Dream. But, he was never accepted by the upper-class, like Tom and Daisy. Gatsby was ignorant about the specialty of upper-class. However rich he was, he could not successfully get into the upper-class. But Gatsby did not realise it and still struggled for it and he even hoped one day, he could win Daisy back. Therefore, he was obstinate in his mind and dream. All in all, it is his obstinate, foolish, ignorant and innocent attitude towards destructive characters that make Gatsbys tragedy become more possible. External forces which also contributed to his downfall were Nick and Gatsbys homes are situated next to each other Nick is related to the object of Gatsbys desire (he is Daisys distant cousin)and is willing to help Gatsby in his endeavour to obtain Daisy. Tom has an affair with Myrtle. The car accident leads to the whole disillusionment that Wilson believed Gatsby was the man that killed Myrtle. From the surface, we may see Gatsby died of his love with Daisy. But when you think more about the cause, we can find, it is the society that he lived that caused also his inevitable tragedy. Y, dXiJ(x( I_TS 1EZBmU/xYy5g/GMGeD3Vqq8K)fw9 xrxwrTZaGy8IjbRcXI

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