Rhetorical Analysis The Great Gatsby

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Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby (1925), is considered as one of the most essential novels of the twentieth century as it engages with a number of important aspects of the period in erstwhile United States. The early part of the twentieth century was a period in European and American history that saw a series of changes in its social and cultural paradigms, mainly due to a rapid rate of modernization with regards to industry, communication, and technology. This, in turn, resulted in the strengthening of the idea that human beings can overcome the limits of time and space through their force of will and effort. It is this impulse that propelled the already prevalent idea of the Great American Dream even further. Fitzgerald interrogates…show more content…
T.J. Eckleburg, is a prognosis of the symptoms of modernity that plagues the valley of ashes. The spatial setting described by Nick Caraway – The valley of ashes – itself suggests death and decay. It is located between West Egg and New York. While the former location represents the traditionally-rich aristocracy (declining by degrees), the latter symbolizes the superficial locale of the newly rich class. Nick’s tone is near-sarcastic in describing the decadence of the region – ‘a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat’. He describes human beings as fiashures formed of ashes, and describes the rest of the imagery by various sense perceptions. The eyes are called upon to notice the overwhelming presence of gray. Men, cars, landscape – all are gray and hence, seem to merge in and out of each other. This symbolizes the all-pervasive decay of the setting and its inhabitants, which is in stark contrast to the glossiness of the West Egg and East Egg. It seems that Fitzgerald, through Nick’s description, is hinting at the true character of the region and its life – a character which the decadent avatar of the American Dream tries to de through its empty…show more content…
Nick says that is was by chance that he met Buchannan’s mistress in the valley. The sentence informing about the above incident ends with an ellipses. It suggests that the narrator, Nick, has altered his course of narration and the plot moves to a different temporal setting. Nick leaves off the description of the landscape of the valley of ashes and, instead, begins narrating his past meeting with Buchannan and his mistress. Here, his memory functions involuntarily and affects the narrative flow and makes it non-linear. In describing the past encounter, Nick continues to focus on describing the setting. This description includes the different colors of the fence (white) and a block of bricks (yellow). Again, he notices the signboard of Wilson’s garage and spells it out with exactitude. Nick’s focus on sign-boards suggests the significance attached to such symbols in the context of the novel. Another symbol that reinforces the ephemeral quality of capitalist products and the use of the valley as a ‘solemn dumping ground’ is the ‘dust-covered wreck of a Ford’. It is interesting to note that the decaying capitalist-symbol is personified by Nick when he says that it ‘crouched (emphasis added) in a dim corner’ inside the garage. Nick gives more attention to objects than to humans around them. This suggests that his narrative point-of-view is deliberately in line with the capitalist aspect of the American

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