Thursday, January 13, 2011


·         “They were gone, without a word, snapped out, made accidental, isolated, like ghosts, even from our pity” (135).

This example of unique syntax demonstrates the havoc of emotions that so recently had been let out, but was now internalized again. The short choppy phrases illustrate the passions of Daisy and Gatsby, for they have just admitted their love publicly, but nothing truly changed as a result. Once they realized the mistake of expressing their emotions aloud, their feelings for each other were quickly suppressed. The rapid change in their emotions and relationship is seen through the above syntax. This syntax creates a desperate tone, for it shows that as quickly as they let their feelings known they were forced to hide them once more.

·         “He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room” (89).

Through this example of syntax, the joy of Jay Gatsby is made known. After five years, Gatsby is able to become acquainted with his true love once more. Before their reunion, Gatsby is worried that Daisy might not love him anymore since she has already been wed to another. However, Gatsby learns that his love is returned and is ecstatic with joy. His pure joy is emphasized by a semicolon in the beginning of the sentence. This semicolon separates the statement of his jubilance to bring it to the reader’s main focus.


  1. I believe that with your first quote, the syntax exhibited shows more of a simile that was expressed by relating them to ghosts, and less about the passion both Daisy and Gatsby feel. Although it is somewhat related, I believe that the choppiness that Fitzgerald uses in his syntax for this specific sentence is to exhibit a feeling of detachment, departure, and even with people you love, you may still feel alone in a world meant for others.

  2. That's a very insightful observation. I think you're absolutely right, in that segment Fitzgerald certainly seemed to try to link syntax with plot. The phrase "snapped out" appears to be key to understanding the meaning of this particular syntactical arrangement and you're correct in seeing the tone as being desperate.
    It was also interesting to note the use of the semicolon on page 89. It does serve to accentuate Gatsby's happiness and is quite effective in doing so.