In The Great Gatsby, Jordan says,"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." How is Jordan's statement ironic?

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katemschultz's profile pic

katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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In traditional literary analysis, the season have specific symbolic interpretations: spring usually symbolizes rebirth, a new beginning, youth, innocence.  Fall is spring's opposite--fall brings the harvest, the end of summer, the "beginning of the end", nature starts to decline and die.  Fall is often associated with middle to late life.  It is ironic that Jordan indicated that life begins in the fall because it is counter-intuitive to the natural cycles of the earth and nature.

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favoritethings | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Fall is symbolically associated with declension precisely because it becomes "crisp" and cool outside. Thus, it is autumn's crispness that actually causes what seems like death in nature: the withering of leaves, the browning of grasses, and so forth. The drop in temperature that Jordan refers to is the circumstance that precipitates death (and winter), not new life.

Such a statement reveals Jordan's privilege as well. Jordan's biggest care right now seems to be how hot it is, though she handles it somewhat better than Daisy does. However, ironically, Jordan would be one of the individuals better able to handle the intense heat: she can lounge idly on white couches in big houses outside the city, fanning herself and drinking cold beverages. Others, like George Wilson or the man selling puppies in New York City, are far less capable of managing the heat because they must work and because the areas in which they live are more crowded and prone to trapping such heat.

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