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In chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby, how does Fitzgerald achieve a melancholy mood in the...

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autumn1696 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:59 AM via web

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In chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby, how does Fitzgerald achieve a melancholy mood in the beginning of this chapter?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:01 PM (Answer #1)

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Look at the language Fitzgerald chooses and the environment he describes as chapter eight opens. The morning of the day after the accident and Myrtle's death - it's foggy and still dark. Nick and Gatsby move about in dank, distasteful, gloomy darkness, searching for light switches, stumbling over obstacles, stirring up the dust as they grope for cigarettes. When Nick finally locates two, they are rather unappealing but better than nothing.

There was an inexplicable amount of  dust everywhere, and the rooms were musty, as though they hadn't been aired for many days. I found the humidor on an unfamiliar table, with two stale, dry cigarettes inside.

There is nothing appealing or cheerful or positive in the opening of the chapter. Everything feeds into the depression and melancholy of the event that overshadows Gatsby's thoughts and words at that point in the story.

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