Wednesday, January 11, 2012


  • Cumulative Sentence: “I spent my Saturday nights in New York, because those gleaming, dazzling parties of his were with me so vividly that I could still hear the music and the laughter, faint and incessant, from his garden, and the cars going up and down his drive”(179).
Also known as a loose sentence, this is how most of The Great Gatsby is laid out-elaborate and intricate sentence structures. This sentence in particular has the independent clause at the beginning followed by many add-ons to enhance its meaning. After Gatsby was killed this is how Nick lived his life, and even by this length the message is well delivered in the one sentence. 
  • Telegraphic: “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy” (49).
A large majority of Fitzgerald’s sentences are long and flowery or involve an abundance of dialect. In this conversation between Jordan Baker and Nick Callaway, short, pithy sentences are exchanged. By using these terse statements it shows the frustration encompassed by Jordan. She reveals her aloneness even amongst an enormous group of people.
  • Rhetorical Question/Parallel Structure: “Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it”(11).
Syntactically, the structure of the second sentence mirrors that of the first. Daisy appears to be hurried while asking these questions. Because of the hurriedness she does not intend to have an answer, let alone allow time for one to be heard, but the structure of the interrogative sentences gives a variety to Fitzgerald’s convoluted writing style.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, the majority of the great gatsby is made up of lengthy sentences that often begin on a certain topic and end completely somewhere else. I think this is to show how during this time everything was fast paced and rapidly changing in a matter of minutes. But using complex, loose and periodic sentences, Fitzgerald is able to evoke a chaotic accelerated lifestyle. Your example of parallel structure/ rhetorical question also demonstrates this sense of haste. People were is such a hurry at this time that they didn't even have time to sit down and wait for someone's answer. This syntax could also show Daisy's egotism in the fact that she may not care about other people's answers she just cares only for her own.