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Does the meaning of "with" in the phrase "with a wish" in the following excerpt from...

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coutelle | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 9, 2013 at 5:52 PM via web

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Does the meaning of "with" in the phrase "with a wish" in the following excerpt from the Chapter Four of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald affect the structure of the sentence as "built with a wish, (made) out of"?

"Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world."

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM (Answer #1)

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As a realistic lyricist, F. Scott Fitzgerald often writes in the style of poetic criticism in The Great Gatsby. In Chapter Two, for instance, Nick describes part of his trip through the Valley of Ashes outside of New York City, an area suggestive of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Wasteland" which Fitzgerald liked. As he traverses this industrial wasteland, Nick mentions crossing a "foul river." This olfactory image depicts the pollution and waste of manufacturing and enterprise, symbolic of Americans' wasted opportunities in "a golden age."

In sharp contrast to the imagery of Chapter Two, then, is the description in Chapter Four of New York City itself as the city that rises up across this "foul river" to appear almost magically and dreamlike in "white heaps" and "sugar lumps" built with "non-olfactory" money, displaying

its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.

But, it is an ersatz beauty--"built with a wish"; that is, it is all man-made and constructed from materialistic desires and hopes, fashioned from (or, indeed,"out of") man's vision and dreams of potential wealth. There is nothing of true value put into these "white heaps" and "sugar lumps" of buildings built of "non-olfactory" money. For, these "heaps" and "lumps" can easily collapse as material values so often do.

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