The Great Gatsby

by Thersa Reale, June 2014

300 words

1 page


There is no doubt that literary devices play an important role in the novel “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald. Literary devices help to convey necessary meanings and enhance effect produced on the reader. The author uses foreshadowing- an act of presenting information hinting at the future events. The example of foreshadowing is the following extract from Chapter 3: “He snatched the book from me and placed it hastily on its shelf muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse” (Fitzgerald 50). This sentence creates anticipation of drama. Irony is another helpful tool that was successfully used in the novel. The example of a dramatic irony is the situation when everyone was aware of a romance between Daisy and Gatsby except Tom. Eventually Tom realized the truth and got overwhelmed with emotions. Situational irony can be traced in the ending of the story when Daisy finally stayed with Tom despite a resumed relationship with Gatsby. Fitzgerald also uses allusion- references to well- known people such as Hopalong Cassidy, J.L. Stoddard Lectures and others. Metaphor is another frequent literary device. For instance, Nick is described by Daisy in Chapter1 in the following way: “You remind me of a- of a rose, an absolute rose. Doesn’t he?” (Fitzgerald 17). Besides, the author often utilizes symbols (cars, seasons, cars, Daisy's voice) to impress readers and make the novel brighter. One of the most interesting symbols is eyes of Dr. Eckleburg: “The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are glue and gigantic-- their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose” (Fitzgerald 26). These eyes can be perceived as the eyes of God observing American society and expressing disapproval of its wastefulness. However, the most special literary device in the novel is simile which is frequently used and plays a crucial role in making the author's writing style unforgettable.

A simile is generally defined as a comparison of two things with the help of words “like”/ “as”. It is one of the most regularly used devices in the text of the novel. Simile often reveals the author's logic, imagination, and creates uniqueness of a writing manner. This device makes the novel more colorful and interesting suggesting implied shades of meaning and emphasizing the author's message. For example, the scene of the party in the Gatsby's house was described as follows: “In his blue garden men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars” (Fitzgerald 43). This simile is destined to underline an absent- minded nature of this social gathering and demonstrate that the guests were ordinary easy- going people interested in entertainment and a glamorous lifestyle. This conclusion is prompted by the author's selection of the word “moth” and related associations.

Another interesting simile is comparison of Jordan and Daisy to silver idols: …

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