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Close reading (Analysis) of pages 117-118 of 'The Great Gatsby'

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Introduction

Close reading - Page 117-118 The passage begins 'One autumn night', autumn is commonly thought of as a season of death and renewal, when the leaves fall from the trees, so do the metaphorical leaves that are referred to throughout the novel, in many places where the theme of nature is prevalent. The garden itself is commonly used as a symbol for Gatsby's social standing, and the vibrancy of his life. Now that the 'leaves are falling', we can see that daisy has captured his 'godlike' attention, as it is portrayed throughout the novel, but also his heart. As the life of his garden is given to the ground, so is his life given to daisy, whose name itself refers to the theme of nature. Soon after, they come to a 'place where there were no trees', this may be represent that they have reached a place in their unusual relationship where the vibrant yet fake fa�ade of their social lives is laid bare, and there are no longer trees blocking their view of each other. ...read more.

Middle

The idea of the lights 'humming' gives the impression of a type of song, as if the house itself now echoes with the music played in the recent party. The idea of this 'humming' also being 'quiet' however reinforces the apprehension and wariness which many characters show in their approach to the unknown figure of Gatsby. The 'stir and bustle among the stars', may as it appears to imply, that the stars in the sky were restless at Gatsby's presence, but it may also generalise the meaning of 'stars', and refer it instead to celebrities, and those of a higher social status. It shows that Gatsby's actions towards Daisy have caused unrest in the higher social echelons, and that the rumours may be spreading among the heavens, even before the actual 'kiss' has taken place. The 'ladder' that Gatsby envisions he saw on the sidewalk, and the 'secret place above the trees' describes the social and economical 'ladder that Gatsby had to climb to reach his current position. ...read more.

Conclusion

The idea of him physically devouring this success and achievement gives him a grotesque, almost monstrous appearance, at once highlighting his inherent greed and ambition, and personal vanity in comparing himself to an ancient Greek god, or hero. He refers to daisy as a 'girl', as women are commonly labelled throughout the novel. This implies that daisy herself is na�ve, and is woman in body only, and not in spirit or intelligence. It also implies that she is not as developed, and perhaps civilised as Gatsby, and is like a child in her dogmatic adherence to her social 'chains', and her reluctance to mingle with 'new money'. Nick describes how Gatsby 'wed his unutterable visions to her'. The word 'wed' implies that his desires involve marriage, and shows that he feels a connection to daisy through his words that cannot currently be expressed physically. His 'visions' being named as 'unutterable' hints at his shady occupation, and implies that his intentions towards daisy may not be as white and pure as the white imagery throughout the novel would have you believe. ...read more.

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