The Great Gatsby Analysis Essay

2085 Words Mar 17th, 2008 9 Pages
Diction: 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" …show more content…
The sentences in this passage are strung together by a series of dashes which indicate pauses in the narrators speeech. These pauses are reminiscent of normal language. The tone is curious and quiet. Color imagery reminds the reader of the connotations for money and pride. The syntax in this section is typical of Fitzgeralds style. It is filled with complex and compound-complex sentences which give the passage a soft and rhythmic flow and contribute to the intensity of the dream-like situation. Words like "intimation" and "unquite darkness" emphasize the dreamy air around Gatsby and the green light. Passage 3: Page 171 "I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder."(pg 171) The diction in this passage is hopeful and positive. Words like "fresh, green breast" and "new world" and "tree" all evoke a hopeful and renewed tone full of optimism and excitement for

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