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Great Gatsby Tone
Transcript of Great Gatsby Tone
"If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees."
Short phrases and words
"Hardly fail to grasp it" -pg 189
"Old unknown world" -pg 189
"Orgastic future" -pg 189
"Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade." -pg 135
"Lingering regret" -pg 14
"Abortive sorrows" -pg 7
"Ceaselessly into the past" -pg187
"When I had reached the point of believing everything and nothing about him" -pg 107
"Forlorn hope" -pg 167
"Material without being real" -pg 169
"Decade of loneliness" -pg 135
"Human sympathy has it's limits" -pg 135
Short Passage #1
"I spend my Saturday nights in New York because those gleaming, dazzling parties of his were with me so vividly that I could still hear the music and the laughter faint and incessant from his garden and the cars going up and down his drive. One night I did hear a material car there and saw its lights stop at the front steps. But I didn't investigate. Probably it was some final guest who had been away at the ends of the earth and didn't know that the party was over." (Page 188)
Short Passage #2
"Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferry boat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the 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 aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something to commensurate to his capacity for wonder." (Page 180)
Example of Syntax
"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 but was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..."
Example of Syntax
"I spent my Saturday nights in New York because those gleaming, dazzling parties of his were with me so vividly that I could still hear the music and the laughter faint and incessant from his garden and the cars going up and down his drive."
Short Passage #3
"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 but was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..." (Page 179)
The use of ellipsis at the end of this statement contributes to the wistful tone because it expresses the author's sense of dissatisfaction with these characters--Fitzgerald wants (
) for the characters to not exhibit these qualities and regrets that they their carelessness is a result of the corruption caused by money in the 1920s. The ellipses at the end is a way of leaving the statement open-ended, expressing Fitzgerald's attitude of regret that his characters have been negatively affected by the time period, the statement is left open-ended because Fitzgerald longs for the characters to see their demise and change their way of thinking that will lead to their own destruction.
"Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor." (Page 150)
The use of polysyndeton displays the work's wistful tone. The use of the conjunction 'and' slows the pace of the writing, creating a mood of ecstasy and exuberance revolving around Gatsby's parties. Fitzgerald uses polysyndeton to create this mood to highlight the good times that he longs for his characters to experience again, the times when Nick was more naive and unaware of the destructive effects of the excessive attitudes that characterized the people of the time period which created the exuberant mood of the parties. Fitzgerald longs for a memory of the time when the excess was still magical and didn't yield damaging consequences.
The metaphor illustrates a wistful tone by comparing the change in the attitude of society during the 1920s to a negative image of a world with an "unfamiliar sky", "frightening leaves", a "grotesque rose" and "raw sunlight". These negative images describe a new "material" world and the loss of the "old warm world". The metaphorical association of the new world with a negative environment highlights the change in society that is taking place in the time period, and displays Fitzgerald's longing for the old world as he associates it with a positive image rather than representing it with a negative image. The "poor ghosts" are a metaphor for the people of 1920s society who have been negatively affected by the excessive wealth-seeking attitude of this time. The people who are "breathing dreams like air", dreams being riches.
- Having or showing a feeling of vague and regretful longing