The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Analyze the language in this paragraph from The Great Gatsby. How does the language create a dreamlike world? "But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing."

The language in this paragraph creates a dreamlike world by using words that are often associated with dreams. "Grotesque and fantastic conceits" hints at nightmares. There are also "fancies," "reveries," and "drowsiness," words that are seldom associated with our waking hours. The gleaming of the moonlight also adds to the dreamlike state in which Gatsby finds himself trapped, especially as it contrasts with ordinary, everyday objects.

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Gatsby's dreamlike state is conveyed quite vividly by the language Fitzgerald uses in this passage. Just look at the "grotesque and fantastic conceits" haunting Gatsby in bed at night. In common parlance, these are nightmares, which of their very nature are indicative of a dreamlike state.

Other features of a dreamlike state, such as the "universe of ineffable gaudiness" spinning out of Gatsby's brain and the gleaming moon, are contrasted with ordinary objects of his waking existence, such as a ticking clock and a pile of tangled clothes upon the floor.

Then there is the reference to Gatsby's reveries, or dreams. They clearly provide him with an outlet for his vivid imagination. But at the same time, they are so real that they make the ordinary everyday world of waking life seem unreal.

Gatsby is a man who occupies a dream world, a world of fantasy, in which he is destined to be spend the rest of his life with Daisy Buchanan . His nighttime experiences are therefore an intensification of...

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