One rhetorical strategy that Fitzgerald uses in "The Great Gatsby" is contrast. It is the strategy that I appreciate most a lot of the time. For me, seeing what something isn't helps me to better understand what something is.
The American Dream that Fitzgerald is heavily focusing on in the book is wealth and materialism. Fitzgerald initially explains to his readers how the East Egg and West Egg are different. Old money vs. new money. However, Fitzgerald is quick to point out that there really isn't a difference. They both have lots of money and party at the same parties. They both represent the same end goal. Have lots of money and lots of stuff.
The contrast with the obscene wealth of Gatsby and his neighbors is shown in the Valley of Ashes. It is located between East and West Egg and serves as a strong contrast to the rich folks of the Eggs.
"This is a valley of ashes — a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight."
Every time that I read that section, I picture everything as dirty. A grey haze in the air. People with ashy colored skin. Heavy smog. It's depressing. In contrast, are Gatsby's parties. Those I picture in vibrant colors with lots of sparkly things. Those descriptions of the Valley of Ashes and Gatsby's parties are another rhetorical strategy as well -- imagery.
The Valley of Ashes is full of people that are trying to attain the American dream or who have tried and failed. The worst part of it though is how people like Tom abuse the people in the Valley. Tom believes he is so much better than people like George Wilson. It's to the point that Tom thinks it's okay to take the man's wife. Myrtle is not free from blame though, because she is desperate to achieve that American dream of wealth. She is willing to cheat on her husband AND do so with Tom of all people.
What I like about Fitzgerald's portrayal of the American dream is the irony present in the book. The Eggs are supposedly full of people who have achieved the American dream. They are revered people. They should be looked up to. The ironic thing though is that the wealthy people are just as broken as the poor people. They are unhappy, their marriages are farces, many of them are law breakers, and quite a few of them are cheats as well.
Rhetorical Analysis of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
830 WordsFeb 20th, 20183 Pages
Many authors strive to write books that have a purpose, including the author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. The author strives to display multiple purposes to readers through strong, sophisticated writing. The purposes Fitzgerald shows in The Great Gatsby include that substance in relationships matters, the truth is important, and that actions have consequences. Fitzgerald executes the purposes successfully by using rhetorical choices such as irony, homilies, simple dialogue, similes, and syntax A recurring purpose displayed by Fitzgerald, to his readers, in The Great Gatsby is the importance of substance in relationships. Through the relationships-whether platonic or romantic-between characters he shows that there really isn’t much of a relationship at all if there isn’t substance as a foundation. Substance ranges from developing a real relationship or simply just knowing someone’s name. The importance of substance in a relationship was show when Jordan Baker told Nick Carraway, the narrator, her opinion on parties. She said she likes bigger parties more than small parties and that small parties are “so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy” (Fitzgerald 49). This quote from Jordan shows that rhetorical choice of irony. This rhetorical choice furthered Fitzgerald’s purpose, because most will agree that…