1. Select three passages from the book (about a paragraph or two in length) that we have NOT annotated as a class. Annotate these passages and identify the
language features that Fitzgerald uses. Explain the effect of these features and why he may have chosen to use them.
“Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget…”
Juxtaposition : Sad and Lovely.
A juxtaposition is to contrasting adjectives that have been placed together for a more defined view on an object. Sad tells us about her blank, lifeless personality in comparison to her lovely appearance and looks.
Emotive language : Passionate, Excitement
Emotive language is language that relates to emotions. Passionate refers to a strong and uncontrollable emotion. Excitement refers to a feeling of elation and eagerness.
Repetition : Bright
Repetition is where the same words or phrases are repeated a few times to make an idea clearer. Fitzgerald had repeated the word bright to reinforce Daisy’s passionate and excited emotions. He has used ‘bright’ to cover up how she really feels underneath.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning —— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Symbolism: Green light.
Something that represents or suggests something else. The green light represents Gatsby’s hope for a future with Daisy. Further on when it says “stretch out our arms farther” this is referring to Gatsby and how he needed to do more to reach his dream. Because at the start of the book he is reaching towards Daisy dock with the green light on the end.
Metaphor: boats against the current.
A metaphor is comparing something without using like or as. It compares Gatsby to a boat trying to battle against a current, it is impossible. Is telling us about how Gatsby is trying to get back his past from 5 years ago, but it is impossible.
Emotive Language: Eluded.
Emotive language is language that relates to emotions. Eluded is where something or someone has escaped from a danger or enemy. Fitzgerald has used the word eluded to tell us how Gatsby’s dream had escaped him because he was trying so hard to turn back the time and he wasn’t focused on the future.
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
Emotive Language: Careless.
Emotive language is language that relates to emotions. Careless means that the person does not give any thought to any harm or errors. Tom and Daisy are described as careless because they are so corrupted by their wealth and perception of people and objects they have become ‘careless’.
Adjective is a describing word. Smashed means that something has been violently broken or shattered. This refers to Daisy breaking Gatsby’s dream and shattering his future.
Giving human characters, non human characteristics. Retreated means that something goes back or withdraws. In this case it refers to Daisy and Tom leaving everyone else behind without a care and going back to what they know, wealth, class and lifestyle.
2. Fitzgerald uses many allusions throughout the novel. Select one of these allusions and explain the connection between it and the book. Bonus: how can you link it to our theme of “illusion”.
Merton College Library
Merton College Library is one of the earliest libraries in England and the oldest academic library in the world.
Illusion, Recreation is a form of illusion. The fact that the library is a “fake” version of a prestigious place links to the persona Gatsby has created for himself. The library is full of real books representing the effort that Gatsby is putting into creating himself and materialistic objects around him. The use of real books could represent the fact that Gatsby honestly believes in his fantasy persona.