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With reference to at least two passages, show how Fitzgerald(TM)s variety of language techniques illustrate his views on the lifestyle of the era, here and in the novel as a whole.

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Introduction

With reference to at least two passages, show how Fitzgerald's variety of language techniques illustrate his views on the lifestyle of the era, here and in the novel as a whole. Fitzgerald uses many different literary techniques to portray his opinion of the lifestyle during the 1920's. The use of Nick Carraway as narrator continually exposes the readers to both the positives, and negatives of this era. Throughout "The Great Gatsby" Fitzgerald explores key issues of "The jazz age". The role of women and the hierarchy of society are two of the main issues which Fitzgerald explores. Throughout passage one there is a big divide of social status and it is clear that the differences within the class hierarchy are profound: "He's so dumb he doesn't know he's alive." Fitzgerald uses the brutal character of Tom Buchanan to portray the divide and disapproval of working class citizens like Wilson. The use of strong adjectives portrays the maltreatment of the working class. In passage two Fitzgerald presents the opposite end of the hierarchy to the readers. The readers are therefore exposed to a world of wealth: "...superior couples holding each other tortuously, fashionably, and keeping to the corners..." The continued use of adjectives by Fitzgerald this time creates a different image. ...read more.

Middle

However, some would argue that the control is to stop inappropriate behaviour of the typically drunk women of the era. This control over women is paralleled in passage one by the dominating male character of Tom: "I want to see you...Get on the next train." Fitzgerald uses Tom's brutal nature and blunt direct speech to portray the worthlessness of women. Fitzgerald's language is domineering and controlling, which suggests that he has unfaithful motives for his arrangements with "his girl". Fitzgerald portrays an entirely different character to the readers after Myrtle's death: "Tom drove slowly...In a little while I heard a low husky sob, and saw that the tears were overflowing down his face." Fitzgerald show's the readers that this lifestyle can be fragile and vulnerable at times. The readers see a new side of Tom and it proves that although he was a domineering character he did have true feelings for Myrtle. Fitzgerald still represents the era by using bold and masculine adjectives, "...low husky sob..." This description of Tom portrays the idea that people could not show fragility without trying to be superficially strong. The male domination of characters like Tom is similar to the behaviour of Mink in "Postcards" by Annie Proulx. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fitzgerald portrays how a relationship can be superficial. Myrtle's order is brazen in order to spend time with Tom. He shows the readers that people of this era were superficial, for public show and private gain. This is similar behaviour to that of Daisy later on in the novel: "Make us a cold drink...As he left the room again she got up and went over to Gatsby and pulled his face down, kissing him in the mouth." This behaviour is paralleled to Myrtle's; they are both very cold and daring in these cases. Fitzgerald believes this is wrong and he displays this by the quick pace of the sentence, it shows a rush to end the action. The behaviour is similar to that of Tom and his affair with Myrtle, which shows a strength emerging for women. Daisy is now entering into an affair just as Tom is. Fitzgerald represents a clear disapproval of the unfaithful nature of society. I think Fitzgerald uses lots of literary techniques to cover all the key issues of the 1920's. He successfully describes situations vividly and encourages the reader using Nick as narrator. The readers are encouraged to believe that the "Jazz age" was excessive, superficial, wealth obsessed and unfaithful. However, as Fitzgerald shows using Nick, it was a very attractive era which captured people and engulfed them in money. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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