In Fitzgeraldʼs eighth chapter, the tide is deﬁnitly turning for Gatsby as autumn creeps into the air. In the previous chapter, Tom and Gatsby went face to face and Myrtleʼs brutal death -- for which Gatsby took full responsibility -- while illustrating the characterʼs sincere love for Daisy achieved to put his dream to an end. Nick awakes with a start before dawn with the feeling he needs towarn Gatsby of something immediatly. He ﬁnds him at his mansion where Jay waited all night for Daisy to appear at her window. Gatsby tells Nick «Nothing happened» : Daisy did not get hurt by Tom, nor did she came outside and talk to him. Nick suggests Gatsby to leave Long Island and lay low but the latter refuses to even consider leaving his lost love behind. The beginning of chapter 8 epitomizes thesuccessive downfalls of Gatsby -- his crumbled dreams and social condition -- and announces his imminent death. Summer is now gone and Fitzgerald portrays a dejected Gatsby struggling with the excessively-fast-paced events of life. This study will hence largely concerns itself with how the narrative setting implicitly depicts the ruin of the once called Great Gatsby. The ﬁrst segment of thisessay will demonstrate how the author achieves a melancholic mood throughout the chapter. Weʼll then examinate the foreshadowed death of Gatsby in Nickʼs agitated dreams. Finally weʼll explore the tragic side of the American dream symbolized by the metaphoric ﬁgure of Gatsby.
1. A melancholic mood
As in much of Shakespeareʼs work, the weather in The Great Gatsby matches the story. The plot andthe seasons are deeply intricated. The mansion on the other end also functions as a symbol of Gatsbyʼs wealth and dreams. Weʼll discuss the connection between the house and Fitzgeraldʼs character.
A. The weather and the plot
Autumn comes with Jayʼs desillusions whereas the climactic confrontation between Gatsby and Tom occured in the heat of the summer. The events in The Great Gatsby areunfailingly tied to the seasons. Daisy and Gatsbyʼs reunion took place under a pouring rain, hence creating an intense feeling of nostalgia. Happiness and sunny weather followed as long as their relationship lasted. Itʼs nothing but logical that the traumatic events that happened in chapter 7 marked the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn. Nickʼs sleep is disrupted by the « fog-horn groaningincessantly on the Sound ». The fog-horn here is given a personality -- fog normally doesnʼt groan -- reminding of Verlaineʼs poem, Chanson dʼautomne : « Les sanglots longs / Des violons / De lʼautomne / Blessent mon coeur / Dʼune langueur monotone ». Autumn is associated with melancholy. The possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. Autumn also representsmetaphorically both the off-wagon reality of the characters and their souls. The narrator qualiﬁes reality as « grotesque » correlating the sad turn of events and the dark, tempetuous late hours of the night. Similarly, Nickʼs dreams are « savage » and it seems a comparison is made between the uncontrolled weather and his own state of mind. Weʼre given the impression nature hurts the characters inrevenge, as if by playing with their past and solely pursuing pleasure they had to pay back a debt. The rooms in the house are depicted as « musty », and the « humidor » only saved « two cigarettes ». The cigarettes are symbols : their only purpose is to introduce Gatsbyʼs very last souvenirs. The characters canʼt ﬁght the growing moisture of both the place and their situations; darkness absorbseverything around them. Even the once-living piano played during Gatsbyʼs parties became « ghostly ». This catachresis, involving the use of a word beyond its strict sphere, reinforces the feeling of a vanishing environment, fading away as the characterʼs dreams seem more and more ruined. The weather and its inherent sadness not only affects people : it also downs onto simple objects in the same...
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