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What are examples of metaphors used in The Great Gatsby?

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pandacookiez55 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:48 PM via web

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What are examples of metaphors used in The Great Gatsby?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:00 AM (Answer #1)

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A metaphor describes something through the use of images or descriptions that are not literally what is being described. Metaphors make comparisons between the actual object of the description and the phrase or image to which it is being compared.

During one of the parties at Gatsby's house, Nick observes the moon rising over the bay. He describes it as "floating in the Sound...a triangle of silver scales, trembling a little to the stiff, tinny drip of the banjoes on the lawn."

After another party, Nick begins to become more aware of unavoidable rumors and gossip about Gatsby's background. Nick still fundamentally doesn't believe the tales he has heard, but can't ignore the intrusion of the rumors any longer. His way of picturing the outside forces intent on destroying Gatsby's reputation:

On Sunday morning while church bells rang in the villages alongshore, the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby's house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn.

On another occasion, Gatsby points out a delicately beautiful woman to Daisy and Tom. "'Perhaps you know that lady,' Gatsby indicated a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman..."


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