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In The Great Gatsby, would you please tell me the literal and metaphorical meaning of...

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coutelle | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:31 PM via web

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In The Great Gatsby, would you please tell me the literal and metaphorical meaning of this sentence below, more especially the "twinkle-bells of sunshine" (does twinkle-bells refer to "the peal of bells" by synaesthesis?) and "weather man" (perhaps a reference to drawings used in newspaper weather forecasts in which a smiling face indicated good weather, not a reference to television weathermen)?

 

“It’s stopped raining.”

“Has it?” When he realized what I was talking about, that there were twinkle-bells of sunshine in the room, he smiled like a weather man, like an ecstatic patron of recurrent light, and repeated the news to Daisy. “What do you think of that? It’s stopped raining.”

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:30 PM (Answer #1)

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After a five-year separation and what happened to be an initially awkward reunion, Nick rejoins Gatsby and Daisy, having given them time to be alone. It is clear to Nick that something dramatic has occurred; probably that Gatsby has professed his love to Daisy or flattered her in some significant way: 

Daisy’s face was smeared with tears, and when I came in she jumped up and began wiping at it with her handkerchief before a mirror. But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding. He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room. 

So, at this point, Gatsby is extremely happy and pleased with how well it is going with Daisy. When Nick says, "It's stopped raining," it has literally stopped raining. But this is also a metaphor for the situation with Daisy. Things are bursting with light (as opposed to the metaphorical gray skies and rain) for Gatsby. The "twinkle bells of sunshine" does refer to a moment of synesthesia (a combining of the senses). For Gatsby, every sense (sight, sound, etc.) is glowing. In this case, Gatsby is pleased with the sight of Daisy (sunshine) and the sound of her voice (bells). He is actually glowing all over which would indicate that all of his senses are, metaphorically speaking, "glowing."

Like a weather man (someone who reports the weather), Gatsby repeats to Daisy that it has stopped raining; it is as if he is reporting and declaring that the sun is shining (it has stopped raining) and metaphorically that the general atmosphere of the room and the situation are glowing with light, happiness, and relief. As a weather man brings the good news of pleasant weather, Gatsby delivers the good news of he and Daisy's reunion by repeating that it has stopped raining. The sun is literally shining outside and for Gatsby, emotionally/metaphorically speaking, his whole being is shining because he's finally with Daisy again. 

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