Stylistic Analysis of The Great Gatsby

12 December 2016

Fitzgerald was the most famous chronicler of 1920s America, an era that he called β€œthe Jazz Age. ” Written in 1925, The Great Gatsby is one of the greatest literary documents of this period. In this novel Scott Fitzgerald presents the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby, as related in a first-person narrative by Nick Carraway. Thus the novel is being told in the first person singular, which indicates that we deal with the entrusted narrative.

The composition of the text is rather simple. The sentence structure is predominantly composite: there are both complex and compound sentences. The characterization of the personage’s image is achieved with a number stylistic devices: metonymy ( the divisional machine-guns), epithets (artificial world, hopeless comment, nervous despair), personification ( saxophones wailed, something within her was crying, rooms that throbbed, dying orchids), hyperbole (a hundred pairs, half a dozen dates, half a dozen men).

There was found a case of simile (fresh faces like rose petals) . The author used such figures of contrast as oxymoron (cheerful snobbery, sweet fever), antithesis (there was a certain struggle and a certain relief). The play on the polysemantic words are represented by figure of ambiguity – zeugma ( there was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his position). The author made this novel colourful, vivid with help of these stylistic devices. It helped him to bring characters alive and to create an overall mood or impression.

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