"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." What is the diction (and specific words that support the diction), and what is the tone? What are the literary devices in the passage? What is the overall significance of the passage and how does it help to develop the book?

These are the last words in The Great Gatsby, and they continue the metaphor of the green light as a representation of hope, especially for the future. Nick Carraway likens the pursuit of a better future to taking a boat upstream, which emphasizes the difficulty in achieving a dream. He concludes by implying that the past is impossible to escape.

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Fitzgerald uses the metaphor of the "green light" to signify the hoped-for future that we continue to believe is a possibility but that actually gets further and further away from us.  We think to ourselves, we didn't reach it yesterday, but tomorrow we will be sure to try harder, and so we convince ourselves that we cannot fail to achieve success.  We continue to believe that "one fine morning," our dreams will, in fact, be within our grasp and not somewhere in that distant future anymore.  However, despite our belief, we are actually pushed backward, further from our dream the more we try to achieve it.  Another metaphor compares us to boats that are "ceaselessly" pushed back by the current, a metaphor for reality that would prevent our hopes from coming true, for the failure of the American Dream.  

The level of diction here is standard: it exists above conversational/neutral (our everyday speech) and below elevated (language that is often considered sacred and so is rarely changed). ...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 805 words.)

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