In the part of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby beginning with “He had changed since," what are ten words that contribute to the impact of the paragraph? What is the effect of the last sentence?  

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This passage in the first chapter of The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) has many words that let the reader know what Nick's thoughts are about Tom Buchanan.  Here is a list:

Hard

Supercilious

Arrogant

Enormous

Boots

Dominance

Aggressively

Power

Muscle

Cruel (11)

This is a man who is consistent in mind and body, large, aggressive, arrogant, and bullying.  He is portrayed in riding clothes, which contributes to this image, even though the clothes have "effeminate swank" (11).  No matter how effeminate these riding clothes may be, they serve to conjure up someone astride a horse with a riding crop firmly in hand, and not necessarily used with just the horse.  The boots complete this picture, making it easy to see him kicking or tromping on others, even if not literally. His body strains against the clothing and the boots, which can barely contain his largeness and his aggression. And just in case the reader is not clear about the kind of man Tom Buchanan is, the last sentence in the paragraph tells us that Tom has a "cruel body" (11).  From a young man of great physical prowess in college, where Nick had known him last, Tom has become not only strong, but also cruel.

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The Great Gatsby

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