Provide an explanation of foreshadowing using examples from The Great Gatsby.

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Fitzgerald uses foreshadowing in the first chapter when the narrator, Nick Carraway, describes his friend Jay Gatsby for the first time. He says that "there was something gorgeous about [Gatsby]," a special kind of optimism that Gatsby had:

an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.  No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

First, we might note Nick's use of past tense verbs describing Gatsby and the things that happened to him, including: "turned out," "preyed," and "floated." These grim, retrospective ways of referencing him imply Gatsby is no longer alive; Nick's word choice here foreshadows the eventual death of the titular character. Further, we can assume that Gatsby's death may be a tragic one based on Nick's word choice that something "preyed" on Gatsby.  This sounds overtly negative, foreshadowing the sad end Gatsby meets.

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines foreshadowing as follows: "to give a suggestion of something that has not yet happened." Foreshadowing is a common literary device, and is used often in many books, including The Great Gatsby

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses foreshadowing on many occasions. One such example occurs in Chapter 4 when Nick is introduced to Mr. Wolfsheim, a gambler who is friends with Gatsby and who, according to Gatsby, "fixed the World's Series back in 1919" (Fitzgerald 73). This meeting is an example of foreshadowing to the reader that Gatsby obtained his wealth through illegal means rather than legitimate business, something the reader learns to be true later in the book.

Another example, that occurs later in this same chapter is when the reader learns that Gatsby is in love with Daisy and wants to plan a meeting at Nick's house as an excuse to see her. Jordan Baker tells Nick that Gatsby wants Daisy to come to tea at Nick's house because "He wants her to see his house" (Fitzgerald 79), which is right next door. This is another example of foreshadowing, suggesting to the reader that Gatsby believes he will be able to win Daisy's love because he is now wealthy like her husband Tom Buchanan. This foreshadows the idea that Gatsby believes Daisy only married Tom for his money, and not because she loved him. This reinforces to the reader Gatsby's belief that Daisy will leave Tom for him, an important theme later in the book. 

As one can see from these examples, Fitzgerald conveys to the reader important information that is later confirmed in the book through the use of foreshadowing. Hope this helps!

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