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Great Gatsby extract. Unseen Literacy commentary

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Introduction

Ryan Whitlock 12B 27/9/12 Unseen Literacy commentary Although the author never provides a name or much information, the reader can gather that this text is an account of sorts from a neighbour of ?Gatsby?. The description is reminiscent of a celebration; a party or ball perhaps. Moreover, it is voiced in a first person narrative form and its purpose seems to be simply to inform the reader of ?Gatsby? and his having a party. It also hints at the extravagant life style this ?Gatsby? construct leads. Although not evidently specified* the reader can assume from the extract that the setting for this party is located within the confines of ?Gatsby?s? living proximities, in America, somewhere on the coast. Interestingly, the author adopts the technique of tense shifting. From the offset, the text is in retrospective form; however as the narrative in the extract progresses, so do the tenses; and the expanse of information provided. ?There was music from my neighbour?s house throughout the summer nights.? This inclines the reader to assume that the occasion being described is one of many at the ?neighbour?s? household. ...read more.

Middle

the others social superior; this is applied in various contexts. Also, with the speaker referring to him as ?Gatsby? perhaps suggest he is a somewhat renowned character. The other word of relative importance is ?enormous?. Again the implied tone of the voice is rather negative. The reader will identify it to be a sarcastic and deeply envious tone. Now in partnership: ?Gatsby?s enormous garden.? Becomes more significant; not only are the envious, sarcastic and spiteful tones being employed but now also an undertone of mockery. The conclusive attitude in the early stanzas of the speaker towards, what is yet the only named construct can only be clarified as one in the exclusively negative persuasion. ?By seven o?clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums.? The first thing the reader notices is ?the orchestra has arrived?. This is significant in terms of tense as it should traditionally be: ?By seven o?clock the orchestra had arrived? (Or so how it is initially perceived) ...read more.

Conclusion

At first the mentions of water and sea seem irrelevant but as the reader progresses through the extract they notice subtle uses of water related metaphors to describe the actions of guests: ?floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside? this makes the reader conjure images of masses of people in the garden, which is significant as it again suggests Gatsby is a known figure. The author also describes a specimen of the crowd in a latter stanza as gliding through ?the sea-change? of faces and voices. The aforementioned effect is apparent once more. Having said this, a more substantial recurring metaphor throughout this extract is the use of colour; more specifically yellow. In the first stanza the speaker explains how it is night time; he uses a simile to depict the movement of the guests: ?like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars? This suggests that the guests are a nocturnal creature like moths that are attracted to light. The author also makes reference to a ?yellow bug? the reader could perceive this as a reflection of the guests themselves. ...read more.

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