What is the author's purpose in the use of hyperbole in The Great Gatsby?

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mattbuckley | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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The classic novel The Great Gatsbywas brilliantly written by F. Scott Fitzgerald from the narrating standpoint of Nick Carraway. Nick's telling of this particular tale is undeniable honest. The author's intention is to write about the great American dream and in doing so he illuminates the forces that have tainted and possibly even destroyed this notion. Fitzgerald uses Nick, an intelligent and critical thinker who constantly analyzes his surroundings and tells the reader about them with his particular touch of animation. Fitzgerald frequently uses hyperbole as he tells this story in order to emphasize the romantic notions of the American dream and therefore Gatsby himself. He compares Gatsby to "one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away". He further explains that Gatsby contained "an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person adn which it is not likely I shall ever find again". This shows the romantic view of the character that we later see in exaggerated forms when describing the 1920's and the death of the American dream.


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