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Great Gatsby Close-Reading Essay

  • Submitted by: ksesem
  • on March 5, 2011
  • Category: English
  • Length: 595 words

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Below is an essay on "Great Gatsby Close-Reading" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.


When the narrator Nick Carraway leaves his cousin’s Daisy’s house he is very angry and full of thoughts. The aim of this essay is to analyze language, mood and tone of the given passage from the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. First we will take a close look at the mood in all three paragraphs and watch how it changes. Then we will look at the tone, which is in the voice of the narrator and finally at the language (figurative images, rhetorical devices and other stylistic elements).
The tone in the first paragraph is critical. Nick says: “The thing for Daisy to do is to rush out of the house, child in arms”. We can hear criticism in this phrase because he blames her for not doing it and even not having “such intentions in her head”, but he of course is a bit exaggerating.   Nick is also criticizing Daisy’s husband Tom, when saying “he had been depressed by a book”, as if it is nonsense that Tom is reading a book.   He is looking down at him and says that he nibbles “at the edge of stale ideas”. However tone is critical in the first paragraph, it is not so critical in the last.
The tone in the third paragraph is not really noticeable, but it begins to be curios. Nick is wondering what Gatsby is doing. We can feel it, when he says: “Involuntarily I glance seaward – and distinguish nothing except the single green light”. He also wanted to call for him. He remembers that Ms Baker mentioned him.
When looking at the second paragraph, the tone is quite neutral except the last sentence. When Nick says “it was Mr Gatsby himself, come out to determine what share was his of our local heaven”, we can see a note of sarcasm in his voice and the word “himself” especially underlines it.
As to the mood, in the first paragraph it can be considered as dramatic. Tom has a woman in New York, but Daisy doesn’t even have an idea of leaving him. Situation in their family seems to be desperate and Nick sees it. The mood changes when we look further.
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