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Cite an example of hyperbole in Chapter V of The Great Gatsby and explain the effects...

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trisha0815 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 30, 2009 at 5:47 AM via web

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Cite an example of hyperbole in Chapter V of The Great Gatsby and explain the effects created.

In Chapter VI what does Gatsby expect concerning Daisy? are these expectations realistic?

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mshurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:05 AM (Answer #1)

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In the beginning of Chapter V, Nick returns home to find "the whole corner of the peninsula [of West Egg] was blazing with light . . . ." His first reaction is feel alarm, thinking that the light comes from his own burning house. He then realizes the blaze of light comes from Gatsby's house that is "lit from tower to cellar." When Nick encounters Gatsby, Nick refers to the house and describes it in hyperbole: "Your place looks like the world's fair." Nick's choice of words emphasizes the size, expanse, and showy grandeur of Gatsby's mansion, lighting up the the dark night and the surrounding area.

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ms-charleston-yawp | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted July 30, 2009 at 9:49 AM (Answer #2)

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According to eNotes "Guide to Literary Terms," hyperbole is "obvious and deliberate exaggeration or an extravagant statement."  One certainly doesn't have to look very far to find hyperbole in Chapter V of The Great Gatsby!  In fact, you don't have to look any further than the very first page:  page 82!  This is the point during which Gatsby approaches Nick on his own front lawn and requests a get-together of Gatsby and Daisy at Nick's little house.  The irony (and hyperbole) here is that as soon as Nick agrees and mentions inviting Daisy over for tea the next day, Gatsby says,

"Oh, that's all right," he said carelessly.  "I don't want to put you to any trouble." . . . "I don't want to put you to any trouble, you see." (Fitzgerald 82)

Ah, hyperbole in it's greatest form.  In fact, it's an exaggeration of just the opposite of what Gatsby wants.  Gatsby wants this meeting to be absolutely perfect, no matter what kind of trouble Nick is put through!  In fact, through their short conversation and through Gatsby's hyperbole to the opposite, he manages to secure a date, a time, and the entire ambiance of the meeting!  Fascinating!

In regards to Gatsby's expectations in Chapter VI, Nick gives us a pretty good interpretation:

[Gatsby] wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say:  "I never loved you."  After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. (Fitzgerald 111)

Four years of marriage obliterated?  Of course this is an unrealistic expectation!  As Daisy later says, "You want too much!"

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