This passage by author F. Scott Fitzgerald is one that is short but very detailed. It is still able to convey a specific idea, for the readers to connect to. Through out this passage F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of the literary devices helps the reader to identify the atmosphere that he is reciting, was an atmosphere that conducts the reader to engage in the imagination initiated by the author. Two main literary devices, imagery and structure are integrated into this passage to create an air of elegant chaos. Author, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses imagery in the passage, as a main way to approach the readers mind, and set a certain mood. When reading this passage you receive a sense of familiarity, captured by the “big party scene”, you think, or imagine, about what it is like to be part of such an atmosphere. Fitzgerald’s use of certain literary terms, help the reader to interpret the significance of the passage. As the author emphasizes a particular idea, which in this case is the air that nothing seems as simple as it looks, but also how it can do so in an elegant manner. At the beginning of this passage, Nick is describing the luxurious food that is present at so many of Gatsbys parties. Within this sentence the use of adjectives, alliterations and personifications, are there to make it feel like the food is actually in your own mouth. When you read this sentence you can see how these words come across so nicely, and feel how the words roll off your tongue, in order to picture how even the food is perfect. “On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d’œurve, spiced baked hams crowed again salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.” The use of these words is not only in this passage to expose the descriptions and familiarity, but it is what makes the passage interesting. They enable a certain form of thought to generate in your mind. With these literary terms, that it is exactly what Fitzgerald achieves. He wants the reader to undergo the feeling that the atmosphere of this party is going to bring, the atmosphere of elegant chaos. The literary devices of this passage do convey strong importance, but it is not only the imagery that captures the full sense of what the author is trying to portray. The way F. Scott Fitzgerald structured this passage, contains other important aspects that help the reader to engage in the atmosphere which is being approached. F. Scott Fitzgerald first begins the passage in past tense. Seeing that this is the first time Nick has been invited to join in the celebrations of one of Gatsbys parties, this section becomes significant. He has only ever been able to experience this on goings from an outside perspective. Even with this, as the narrator, Nick is still able to capture how extravagant one of Gatsbys nights of entertainment really could be, by describing the food that was available. However, when the passage changes from past into present tense, Nick becomes a part of it all. The reader can experience a change, as the feeling of momentum starts to intensify and the idea of elegant chaos really begins. The structures of these sentences are quite long, without commas for a rest, and are only linked with the word “and”. This brings the energy of certain happenings out of the page, and the reader can connect with the real atmosphere that is being thrown around the passage. Two examples of how the structure of these sentences can express these sensations, is when Nick starts to describe how large the orchestra really is. Now having an orchestra at an event would be considered elegant enough in itself. But, they way he announces the instruments involved, creates the chaotic side. “No thin five piece affair but aw hole pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophone and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums.” The second example from this passage begins to describe the atmosphere the people of this party bring into focus. “The bar is in full swing and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside until the air is alive with chatter and laughter and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.” When reading this sentence the reader can observe how F. Scott Fitzgerald formulates this sentence. He does this in order for the reader to read in a faster motion, slowly emphasizing the air, that a lot is being witnessed. However because of the situation, where the party is held, and the class of people that are present, F. Scott Fitzgerald is still able to maintain the presence of elegance, even despite the hazed we capture when reading this passage. Imagery and structure are two literary devices used within this passage from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Imagery is applied to not only extend the description and familiarity of this passage, but also to conduct a more interesting approach. The structure of this passage also conveys this, but it allows the reader to connect with the passage more. This is because of the way the sentences are written; it forces them to read faster creating an illusion that many things are occurring. These examples shown above prove that imagery and structure are the two main devices employed by F. Scott Fitzgerald in this passage that create elegant chaos.
IB English commentary