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What literary techniques does F. Scott Fitzgerald use to present Gatsby's party in Chapter III of the novel.

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Introduction

Ross Leslie What literary techniques does F. Scott Fitzgerald use to present Gatsby's party in Chapter III of the novel The people of 1920's America often lead a very extravagant lifestyle, rich people often overspent in vast amounts, a term known as Conspicuous Consumption. This basically means the rich spend so much and waste their money to such an extent on highly expensive and pointless things, that it actually makes the less fortunate people living in their midst even more poorer then they already are. The richer people of 'The Jazz Age' often wasted time by simply lounging around and getting drunk, having nothing better to do. This was due to the fact that many rich people had more or less done everything that there was to be done and had achieved everything they wanted in life, therefore becoming bored with life, so they wasted their vast fortunes showing off with expensive merchandise, throwing lush parties and going out every night. However the vast amounts of spending through this time soon came to an end, with the Wall Street crash just as Fitzgerald had predicted. ...read more.

Middle

This also shows Gatsby's immense wealth. During the build up to the party, Nick sees a variety of events taking place, these events help display the sheer amount of money and extravagance that Gatsby must put into these parties, for example: " Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York- every Monday these oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves." This could also possibly be a metaphor to the lives of the guests and rich folk; it can also be seen as referring to them as being disposable. Another example of Conspicuous Consumption is the food; Nick provides a richly descriptive view of Gatsby's party buffet: "on buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold." This helps the reader to grasp the sheer expense Gatsby must use for his parties. When Nick first attends one of Gatsby's parties, he states: "I believe on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited." ...read more.

Conclusion

During the party, we learn that there is a vast amount of speculation between Gatsby's guests; many of them haven't the slightest clue about their host's past. Whilst at the party, Nick and Jordan here a great deal of rumours, people find it exciting because he's such an enigma: "The two girls and Jordan leaned together confidentially. "Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once." A thrill passed over all of us." This helps give the reader the impression that Gatsby is enshrouded in mystery, with a potentially dark secret to hide. The guests also often watch him, some people even think he's a murderer: "You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody's looking at him. I'll bet he killed a man." This shows what the guests say and think about their host, this gives the reader the impression that it's probably very exciting to be in Gatsby's company, maybe that's why so many people gate crash his parties, because he's enigmatic. After the gossip has taken place, Nick and Jordan set off to look for Gatsby, where we come to a moment of significance within the chapter, they have their first meeting with owl-eyes. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The essay written here is a very competent analytical exploration of the language used by Fitzgerald in 'The Great Gatsby'. There is a clear appreciation of the question as the candidate pinpoints Fitzgerald's linguistic devices easily and analyses their effect ...

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Response to the question

The essay written here is a very competent analytical exploration of the language used by Fitzgerald in 'The Great Gatsby'. There is a clear appreciation of the question as the candidate pinpoints Fitzgerald's linguistic devices easily and analyses their effect clearly and objectively. This is a an excellent answer because of it's extensive knowledge about the book and the characters (aside from one instance early on, where the candidate suggests Nick might be envious of Gatsby's guests - whilst this maybe true, it should be noted alongside talk of Nick as an unreliable narrator because, for the most-part Nick says that he was repelled by the lifestyle). The structure is also very good, each paragraph equally weighted and discussing points and commentaries that naturally flow into one another against the chronology of the chapter, though I would argue many of the points made in the introductory paragraph are superfluous and/or unnecessary - the repeated points of the lavish debauchery of the socialites' lifestyle are not strictly or explicitly related to the question or to Chapter III, but they could be with a few indicators here and there, so this could be revised to be more succinct to the question because everything they say in this paragraph is valid (may require some cutting down though).

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is very good. The candidate makes a very strategic analysis, analysing important language features in Chapter III like Fitzgerald's metaphors, similes, and his use of symbolism. More could be done on symbolism particularly, but this is still a highly in-depth answer. Elsewhere the candidate makes a good use of metaphorical congruents (such as the metaphors of the "pulpless" oranges and lemons equating to the hollowness of the socialites) and also there is evidence of the candidate commenting on Fitzgerald's anthropomorphism, and how he renders the people subordinate to their lifestyle.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) is very good. The candidate maintains and excellent sense of written propriety when writing their answer, which suggests someone who pays close attention to the content of their essays and the structure of them. I recommend all candidates are as rigorous in their checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation discrepancies in order to ensure clarity in their written expression and a high QWC mark.


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