The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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How Does Fitzgerald Achieve A Melancholic Mood In The Beginning Of This Chapter

In chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby, how does Fitzgerald achieve a melancholy mood in the beginning of this chapter?

Fitzgerald achieves a melancholy mood at the beginning of chapter 8 by employing strategic word choice, constructing sentences that reflect broken dreams, and shifting the characterization of Gatsby and his house.

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Fitzgerald achieves a melancholy mood at the beginning of chapter 8 through sentence structure and employing strategic word choice.

The chapter opens with Nick's inability to sleep, immediately connoting a sense of unease. The sentence then breaks with a semicolon instead of a full stop; the sentence itself is fragmented and unsettled. Fitzgerald then employs personification, noting that the foghorn groaned , a sound of sadness and mourning. Nick is "half-sick" and finds comfort neither in being awake or asleep. The reality he must face from the previous night is "grotesque" and his dreams are "savage" and "frightening." Each of these descriptors connotes a strongly negative mood in these opening sentences. In the next sentence, Fitzgerald again breaks up the sentence by employing an...

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