Examples Of Figurative Language In The Great Gatsby

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The American dream is the central theme of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Equal rights and the chance to succeed in socialism and materialism are part of the American dream. The American dream, however, is always susceptible to failure and self-centered desire. Comparing that to Harlem by Langston Hughes, the central theme is a dream that becomes deferred. Both texts use figurative language such as imagery, irony, and symbolism to do so. Imagery is the use of words to depict an idea or situation. The Great Gatsby does so through the social classes represented. There are three main social classes represented in The Great Gatsby. Old money, new money, and no money are these. The islands of East Egg, West Egg, and the Valley of Ashes …show more content…

West Egg, according to Nick, a member of the new money class, is "the less fashionable of the two, though is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them” (Fitzgerald, chapter 1) By providing examples of how some individuals lived, The Great Gatsby uses imagery to further emphasize the idea of how class matters. Furthermore, imagery is used in Gatsby’s parties. The extravagant nature of Gatsby's parties. “Movement”, “bustle”, and “gaudiness” are the types of imagery that are employed to depict Gatsby's parties. Gatsby hosts these gatherings to grab attention. When looking at the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, imagery is used to give the poetry movement, to arouse the readers' imagination, and to develop their inner feelings, as well as to give them a sense of the flavor and scent of the made-up world. Hughes uses words like "stink," "rotten," "explode," "fester," "dry," "crust," "heavy," and "sag” (Hughes.) He uses these words to drive the reader's senses to feel, smell, see, hear, and taste this important dream. Also, Hughes vividly compares the feelings of people to visuals of a sore. “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a …show more content…

Gatsby is a man who is a walking irony. Gatsby spent his entire life trying to become wealthy, but even when he succeeded, he was still unhappy. “Rich people only ever get richer, they don't get happier. But poor people get by because they are happy, knowing they have a family to come home to” (Fitzgerald, chapter 6.) The lesson Gatsby learns is that wealth cannot buy happiness, loyalty, friendship, or love. Along with money not buying friendship, no one shows up for Gatsby's funeral, yet everyone attends his party. “Nobody came”(Fitzgerald, 172.) Since there was nothing to gain from attending his funeral, nobody showed up. Humans, according to Fitzgerald, are inherently egocentric. People are happy to show up at Gatsby's parties, but when he dies, nobody bothers to go to his funeral. Hughes uses irony when comparing a raisin in the sun to a dream in his poem "Harlem," which is comparable to this use of irony. “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” “Or does it explode? (Hughes)” For Hughes, a dream is like a grape. Is your dream vibrant and alive like that grape, or does it wither and dry out in the sun? Instead of thinking of a raisin in the sun, the poet is imagining a man who waits and waits, dreams and hopes, until he finally bursts from the weight on his shoulders. Hughes also uses irony when he talks about stinking like rotten meat or crusting and sugaring over like syrup. “Does it

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