How Does Fitzgerald Use Figurative Language In The Great Gatsby

1062 Words5 Pages

In writing The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald creates what many consider to be the Great American Novel of the 1920s. One of the greatest factors that contributes to this acclamation is the way in which Fitzgerald writes. Without the distinct writing style of Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby would never have achieved the success it finds today. One section of The Great Gatsby that particularly exemplifies Fitzgerald’s style is at the beginning of chapter 8, where the titular character Jay Gatsby confides his feelings about Daisy to narrator Nick Carraway. Fitzgerald creates a distinctive style, tone, and rhetoric by composing The Great Gatsby with diction that is poetic and immersive, syntax that emphasizes particular parts of the story, and …show more content…

To succeed in this, he often uses figurative language such as similes, metaphors, and personification. This illustrative imagery is plentiful in the narrative, and especially in chapter 8. Describing Daisy’s return to her rich life without Gatsby, Nick figuratively writes that, “[a]ll night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the Beale Street Blues while a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust”, and “[a]t the gray tea hour there were always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low, sweet fever, while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the sad horns around the floor” (Fitzgerald 151). In these examples Nick vividly creates emotive and interpretive imagery by utilizing multiple literary devices. The use of personification by saying “the saxophones wailed” and the “golden and silver slippers shuffled” creates imagery of a dream-like atmosphere (Fitzgerald 151). The use of synecdoche then simile by saying “fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals” creates imagery of beautiful but aimless people (Fitzgerald 151). In combination, the two sentences can be seen as an extended metaphor for Daisy’s life. Another occurrence of Fitzgerald’s vivid imagery is when describing himself at Gatsby’s house, Nick says, “[w]e pushed aside curtains that were like pavilions, and felt over innumerable feet of dark wall for electric light switches — once I tumbled with a sort of splash upon the keys of a ghostly piano” (Fitzgerald 147). Nick uses the simile “like pavilions” and then the adjective “innumerable feet” to create an idea of the largeness of Gatsby’s house (). Nick then uses phrases like “tumbled with a sort of splash” to create imagery that have sound and feeling (Fitzgerald 147). The way Fitzgerald utilizes imagery throughout the novel creates atmospheres with character, which leads

Open Document