Rhetorical Analysis of the Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Rhetorical Analysis

The key character in Fitzgerald’s famous story, a man named Gatsby, has strong unrequited feelings to his old flame, Daisy. Through the story, Gatsby does everything to return his love, even if she doesn’t have feelings for him anymore. Thereby, the author of the story uses the variety of powerful rhetorical tools to show this idea in his story. These rhetorical methods are symbolism, tone, and imagery. They demonstrate the concept of unrequited feelings in the very efficient way. Let’s start from symbolism to do our rhetorical analysis.

For example, there is the right phrase, which uses the tool of metaphor. “Out of the corner of his eye, Gatsby saw the blocks of the sidewalk formed a ladder and mounted to a mystery place above the trees.” Various people can see different symbols in this phrase. For example, these blocks can be a symbol of a vast distance between Gatsby and Daisy, the sign of the impossibility of their love. Moreover, the “secret place above the trees” can be a symbol of what Gatsby is trying to get back into his life. Maybe, love between two primary characters is not dead; maybe it just hides somewhere and waits when Gatsby will bring feelings back to Daisy. Also, a ladder can be a sign of all efforts that Gatsby makes to bring his love back. Anyway, Fitzgerald uses a lot of symbols in his paper, and symbolism is a compelling rhetorical tool in his hands.

The method of imagery uses all five human senses to touch the reader. It means that using imagery tool, Fitzgerald shows something to describe the situation, not says something. Here is one example of imagery tool applied by Fitzgerald in his Great Gatsby; “and once there he could suck on the pulp of life.” What the author uses here is the sense of taste. This way he creates a powerful scene for the reader to picture. It is the tool to describe significant changes that Gatsby is going through. He feels pain, but he is intoxicated and wants more. Finally, we see what this gives to the fundamental character. The other sample of the phrase with imagery tool is “a stir and bustle among the stars.” The author talks directly to the sense of sight to explain his idea. Fitzgerald shows that Gatsby looks at Daisy in such strong way that even stars are dancing for joy.

Finally, the rhetorical tool of tone plays a significant role in this paper. It is the emotional part of literature: depressive, sarcasm, happy, whimsical and many others moods change the reader’s attitude. For example, to describe how Gatsby is acting, the author uses the phrase “even through his appalling sentimentality.” By using cynicism, Fitzgerald brings attention to Gatsby’s feelings. Fitzgerald uses different tone many times in this paper to control reader’s mood. Thus, the author provides many rhetorical tools in his books, such as tone, imagery, and symbolism.


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