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The Great Gatsby's Underlying Meanings Book: The Great Gatsby Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

1123 words - 4 pages

Often the setting, time, and other minute descriptions in a book help to get a message across to the reader. The initial importance of these kinds of things may be minimal, however, after thinking about what they really mean, a deeper, more descriptive story is portrayed. Symbols developed throughout a book, even simple ones such as a certain color, help to bring out an underlying meaning, which may at first have no significant importance in the story. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1995, the narrator tells a story full of description and symbolism. The message in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is enhanced through his use of time, setting, and colors.The period in history in which the story takes place is referred to throughout the book. In the 1920's, life was very rambunctious and included wild parties, which demonstrates that people liked to have fun. Fitzgerald uses vivid descriptions to depict the 1920's lifestyle. The narrator describes a party that he can see:There was dancing now on the canvas in the garden, old men pushing young girls backward in eternal graceless circles, superior couples holding each other tortuously, fashionably and keeping in the corners- and a great number of single girls dancing individualistically or relieving the orchestra for a moment of the burden of the banjo or the traps. By midnight the hilarity had increased. A celebrated tenor had sung in Italian and a notorious contralto had sung in jazz... (Fitzgerald 51).This passage describes a hectic, crazy party that many people loved to attend in the 1920's. Fitzgerald describes the scene at the party while also informing the reader of the type of music they listened to in the 1920's. Harold Bloom also describes the parties of the twenties, "...the free party, the motor-boats, and private beach, the endless flow of cocktails..." (37). In order to understand a book fully, one must understand the lifestyle of the people at that particular time in history.The setting of a book can be very informative to the reader in establishing where characters live, where the action is taking place, and distinguishing between different areas. The two most important regions of the story are the West Egg and the East Egg. Each area has different characteristics, which reflect in the characters that live there. Nick, the narrator, describes where he lives and makes the distinction of being different from the other egg when he says, "I lived at West Egg, the- well, the less fashionable of the two... My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the sound... the [House] on my right was a colossal affair by any standard...it was Gatsby's mansion" (Fitzgerald 9). Nick describes his area as being the less fashionable of the two, which shows how misplaced Gatsby's mansion is because it is in the West Egg. Bruno Leone agrees that Gatsby's house stands out from all the other houses in West Egg when he says, "So the great Gatsby house at West Egg...

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