The Dangerous Past Essay

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In “The Great Gatsby”, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays a broad spectrum of themes ranging from justice and striving to reach our goals to betrayal and corruption, to social separation based on wealth. This causes most people to see “The Great Gatsby” as a criticism of the materialistic society in the 1920’s. Indeed, Fitzgerald shows how each social stratum has it own special problems and, in particular, discusses what dooms the wealthiest stratum through the narrator, Nick Carraway’s feelings of impending disaster. In chapter six, when Gatsby describes meeting Daisy, Nick reveals to the reader his concern that this could eventually lead to Gatsby’s downfall. Throughout the book Fitzgerald uses strong rhetorical devices to show that Gatsby lives in the past, which he portrays as the undoing of wealthy society through Gatsby’s eventual fall.
When reading the passage describing Gatsby‘s overwhelming feelings, you get a strong sense that Carraway clearly sees Gatsby’s internal world: even knowing that world better than Gatsby himself. Through this omniscient narrative perspective, the author succeeds in his attempt to reveal the idealistic spirit of Gatsby. The first paragraph of the passage uses intense visual, tactile, and auditory imagery to help create this idea that Gatsby lives in this past where everything was perfect. Fitzgerald uses phrases like “white with moonlight”, “mysterious excitement”, “humming out into the darkness”, and “secret place above the trees” to create this picture of the perfect kiss within the reader’s mind to reveal what Gatsby wishes to recreate within his world. Gatsby lives to live in the past.
The passage’s tone is set from the very beginning by stating “One autumn night” because autumn is commonly seen as a season of death and revival. Fitzgerald mention of “the leaves falling” creates a connection to this recurring symbol of nature within the book. Nature in this book is given a peculiar description in that it is personified, while people are described using metaphors involving mechanical objects. One could say that nature was a symbol of life and that the people in Fitzgerald’s book...

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