The Great Gatsby Analysis Chapter 9

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In an excerpt that follows Nick’s description of Gatsby’s funeral in Chapter 9, Fitzgerald introduces a passage that epitomizes one of the central themes of The Great Gatsby. One can usually refer to the “Middle West” as the source of morality, purity, and truth. When the Dutch sailors first saw New York, they looked upon the abundance of new land and envisioned a “new beginning.” The East, in particular, New York is where the “dream” began. In the early 1800s, the “westward movement” initiated millions of Americans moving to western lands from the east. During the period The Great Gatsby was written, Americans were generally migrating from the West to the East. People such as Fitzgerald soon realized the contrast of lifestyle in the East and …show more content…

Fitzgerald essentially criticizes American culture during this modernist time and one of the criticisms Fitzgerald is trying to convey to the reader is the destruction of the American dream. Within this thematically significant passage, Fitzgerald focuses on the element of setting, employs symbolism, and uses imagery and diction in order to demonstrate his perspective on modernism and its effect on the “American dream.” Fitzgerald’s emphasis on the setting of the novel is not an accident. Within this passage, Nick describes the Middle West and brings up a small town in Wisconsin. Nick describes the “real” snow that began to twinkle against his windows. The snow, which can represent purity and innocence, suggest why the Middle West is praised for its solid and pure values. Nick says that Tom, Gatsby, Daisy, Jordan and even he are all Westerners. He realizes that although the East excites him it always had for him a “quality of distortion.” This distinct …show more content…

When Nick is coming back west from prep school and college at Christmas time, he describes the family atmosphere around him that consists of genuine people and friends. When he sees the snow he calls the snow “real snow, our snow”. The use of the word “real” suggests perhaps all of the things in the Midwest more “real” than those in the East. To refer to the symbolism of this passage, when Fitzgerald mentions snow it is to refer to the purity and innocence of the Midwest. In contrast to this genuine and pure environment of the Midwest, the East is described vastly different. He describes the East as haunted after Gatsby’s death and he says he decided to go back home to return to the nurturing environment of the

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