Great Gatsby Chapter 5

Topics: Weather, Precipitation, Light Pages: 1 (468 words) Published: November 16, 2014
Fitzgerald’s use of symbols throughout chapter five, specifically light, color and time, help create a second layer to the chapter. From the very beginning of the chapter, there are references to bright lights, with Gatsby’s house being ‘lit from tower to cellar.’ From ‘twinkling’ to ‘gleaming’ these references to light are stippled throughout the chapter. These are used to show Gatsby’s hope. When Daisy enters, Fitzgerald describes her as having a ‘bright’ smile. This small reference to light suggests that Daisy is the “light of Gatsby’s life”—pun intended. However, later on when ‘Gatsby [gets] himself into a shadow,’ there is an absence of this light. This reinforces ideas found earlier in this chapter that Gatsby has another, shady side to him—once again, pun intended.

Though Fitzgerald uses colors as symbols throughout the whole book, there is an increase in this chapter. Gatsby’s white suit mirrors Daisy’s dress from the beginning of the novel. White is representative of light and good, which reinforces the other light symbols in this chapter. Gatsby also wears a ‘silver shirt’ and a ‘gold tie,’ which is used to remind the readers of his wealth. Finally, the pink and gold clouds make this encounter between Gatsby and Daisy to feel fairytale-esque. Fitzgerald employs weather in this chapter to symbolize the change in Gatsby’s mood. In the beginning, it ‘poured rain’ to show Gatsby’s excitement. When Gatsby believes that Daisy isn’t coming anymore, the rain ‘cooled to a damp mist,’ but during the tensest part of the chapter when Nick is ‘aware of the loud beating in [his] own heart’, the rain increases again. It keeps pouring throughout this scene until ‘Gatsby literally glowed,’ and then the ‘sun shone again.’ This reflection of Gatsby’s anxiety in the weather is skillfully done by Fitzgerald to set the tone of the scene. When it ‘began to rain again,’ it’s because of Gatsby’s realization that the ‘significance of the [green] light had now vanished.’...
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