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What is the weather like in chapter 7 of "The Great Gatsby?" What does it symbolize?

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christato71 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 4, 2009 at 1:23 AM via web

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What is the weather like in chapter 7 of "The Great Gatsby?" What does it symbolize?

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ophelious | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted October 4, 2009 at 3:01 AM (Answer #1)

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The weather during the this chapter is extremely hot and stifling.  It is uncomfortable to be outside and everyone is looking for some relief.  Here are a few quotes from chapter 7 to illustrate this:

"The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer."

"...only the hot whistles of the National Biscuit Company broke the simmering hush at noon."

"The straw seats of the car hovered on the edge of combustion."

“Hot!” said the conductor to familiar faces. “Some weather! hot! hot! hot! Is it hot enough for you? Is it hot? Is it . . . ?”

"The room was large and stifling, and, though it was already four o’clock, opening the windows admitted Only a gust of hot shrubbery from the Park."

As you know, a symbol is an object (or sometimes a person) that represents a larger idea.  In this case, the brutal, oppressive, hot weather is symbolic of the atmosphere between the characters.  Tom and Gatsby are edgy and ready for a confrontation.  It is like the heat wave that is broken by a sudden storm.  At least that's one interpretation of it : )

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