The Great Gatsby Analysis

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Complex-compound sentence Pages: 6 (2077 words) Published: March 9, 2008
In the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald utilizes a heavily elegant and sometimes superfluous diction which reflects the high class society that the reader is introduced to within the novel. The speaker Nick Carraway talks directly to the reader. The diction is extensively formal throughout the novel using high blown language the borders on being bombastic. An example of this formal language is seen when Nick states,"The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty." The words "platonic" and "meretricious" elucidate a sense of the education of the speaker it also has a tone of almost superiority. The diction seems peculiar to the reader because of the formal tone which contrasts greatly with the sound of normal speech. Color and light imagery saturate the entire novel allowing the reader to see things in a new light or draw conclusions through different connotative innuendos. Irony is also observed through the use of this opulent diction because it contrasts with the character of Gatsby. Before Gatsby got into "business" he was a normal middle class man and he will always be that man no matter how many material objects he obtains. The language used in this novel reflects the speakers social class very clearly and the reader can see that most of the characters are part of the higher levels on the social ladder. There are also a few references to religious association scattered throught he book with characters such as the eyes of Dr. Eckleberg and the valley of ashes. Most of the novel is long and flowing with a euphonous rhythm. Fitzgerald uses much poetic language literary devices in this book making some sections sound profound.

In the Great Gatsby, the narration by Nick Carraway predominantly uses complex and compound complex sentences. An example of a typical complex sentence is when Nick says,"It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor." Fittzgerald does, however, use simple and compound sentences as well, most oftenly used in the few heated arguments within the novel and the lazy and relaxed comments of the characters. The sentences within The Great Gatsby are long and often twisted together forming a formal tone. This differs greatly from the simple and boring structure of common speech. This contrast with normality mixed with the irony of the situations creates a fake and almost pretended syntax. The sentences and word order are carefully thought out, especially by Gatsby himself in an attempt to impress Daisy. There are not many run-ons or fragments aside from the drunken ramblings of Gatsby's guests. The word order is not usually inverted and the characters get their points across through clever choice of words.

If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes then thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No--Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men. (pg 6-7)

The diction in this passage is extremely elegant verging on the point of superfluous. It is a long description of Gatsby as someone whom nobody...
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