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Great Gatsby - Looking at the writing style of Fitzgerald

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Megan Sankowsky

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Great Gatsby - Looking at the writing style of Fitzgerald

The writing style of F. Scott Fitzgerald in
The Great Gatsby
Let's start with what
we looked at last week....
1. Alliteration
2. Similes
3. Repetition
4. Metaphor
5. Foreshadowing
Establishing
a Setting
It is quite common for Fitzgerald to establish the setting at the start of each chapter.
He takes the reader from what they know to a new environment and describes it in some detail.
This is important for CR1
This is important for CR2 and CR3
Vocabulary
It should come as no surprise to find out that Fitzgerald has quite an extensive vocabulary.
He is also quite keen on using sophisticated adverbs, especially with saying verbs.

And also on verbs.... previous transitivity activities have found a predominance of action verbs.
This is important for CR2
2
Now it's your turn to have a go at writing a description, using some of Fitzgerald's style.
Here is a short list of some vocab found in the text that might inspire you.... (you may want to consult a dictionary)
defunct
vestige
laudable
notoriety
meretricious
antecedents
menagerie
ingratiate
dilatory
caravansary
portentous
magnanimous
presumptuous
expostulation
truculent
pasquinade
commensurate
merely
unscrupulously
ravenously
fortuitously
triumphantly
imperceptibly
incredulously
contemptuously
prodigality
obligingly
vehemently
ineptly
slenderly

vulgar
meretricious
beauty
amorphous
ascertain
skepticism
fervent
infinitesimal
acute
complacency
jovially
vulnerable
elations
epigram
supercilious
effeminate
swank
fractiousness
naughty
somnambulatory
benediction
delicacy
Language of Evaluation
Since this novel has a first person narrator, language of evaluation is very important in establishing Nick's thoughts, feelings, opinions and judgements on people, places and events.

Patterns of evaluative vocabulary across narratives may invite audiences to:
- empathise with characters so you can care what happens
- to negatively judge someone's lifestyle
- discern the actions and responses of characters as they face, or cause problems
- enter the mood of particular settings and circumstances
- express moral or ethical opinions
Important for CR3
Although it is often difficult to draw sharp boundaries around words and expressions which are evaluative, the following meaning categories are very useful for examining how evaluative language is used to involve and persuade audiences.
affect - to express people's feelings
judgement - to praise or criticise people's behaviours
appreciation - to assess objects, settings and appearances
a word or group of words that contributes additional but non-essential information about the various circumstances of the happening or state described in the main part of the clause.

Adverbials are classified on the basis of the kind of meaning involved including:
- time (for example, ‘yesterday’ in ‘I spoke with him yesterday’)
- duration (for example, ‘for several years’ in ‘They lived together for several years’)
- frequency (for example, ‘three times a year’ in ‘The committee meets three times a year’)
- place (for example, ‘in Brisbane’ in ‘We met in Brisbane’)
- manner (for example, ‘very aggressively’ in ‘He played very aggressively’)
- degree (for example, ‘very deeply’ in ‘He loves her very deeply’)
- reason (for example, ‘because of the price’ in ‘We rejected it because of the price’)
- purpose (for example, ‘to avoid embarrassing you’ in ‘I stayed away to avoid embarrassing you’)
- condition (for example, ‘if I can’ in ‘I’ll help you if I can’)
- concession (for example, ‘although she was unwell’ in ‘She joined in although she was unwell’)

Adverbials usually have the form of:
- an adverb group/phrase (for example, ‘very clearly’ in ‘She spoke very clearly’)
- a prepositional phrase (for example, ‘in the evening’ in ‘She'll be arriving in the evening’)
- a noun group/phrase (for example, ‘this morning’ in ‘I finished it this morning’)
- subordinate clauses (for example, ‘because he had an assignment to finish’ in ‘He didn’t go out because he had an assignment to finish’.) In some schools of linguistics, such subordinate clauses are treated as dependent on, rather than embedded in, the main clause.
Adverbials
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