How are seasons used in constructing this novel The Great Gatsby?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As there are numerous films that include Summer in their titles, it is apparent that this season is strongly connected with stories of love, charged emotions, and passion. And, so, this season befits the narrative of The Great Gatsby, the rags to riches tale of a young romantic who seeks his grail as Daisy Buchanan by moving East and purchasing a French-style mansion to lure her. Having established himself in West Egg opposite the Buchanan stables and mansion, Jay Gatsby stares longingly at a beckoning green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan's pier until he arranges with Nick Carraway for Daisy to reunite with him.

The relationships between Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker, and Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan all become embroiled in flaming passions as the atmosphere of feeling runs parallel to the weather. For instance, when Tom takes Nick along to meet his mistress, Nick witnesses a steamy relationship on a torrid New York day in a stifling apartment. Myrtle's jealousy causes her to lash out against Daisy and the brutish Tom breaks her nose. Nick, too, has some conflict with Jordan. Further, after several of Gatsby's hedonistic parties on his "blue lawn" of illusions, Daisy and Gatsby have also had several steamy rendez-vous; then, one sultry day, after passing through the Valley of Ashes to the city, Gatsby asks her in Tom's presence to declare her love for him, an open declaration which Daisy will not make, embarrassing Gatsby and enraging Tom, who now exposes Gatsby's hidden life.

...he [Gatsby] began to talk excitedly to Daisy, denying everything, defending his name against accusations that had not been made. But with every word she was drawing further and further into herself, so he gave that up and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away....

After this, Nick narrates, "So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight." For, when Mrytle sees the same car that Tom has been in when he stopped at Wilson's garage on the way to the city, she runs out thinking Tom has come back for her and is struck and killed by the frivolous Daisy. That night, in the rain, standing alone in the moonlight, Gatsby keeps a vigil underneath the window where she and her husband "conspire together."

Ironically, in his tale of first meeting and falling in love with Daisy, Gatsby departed for the war on a "cold fall day," taking with him, he thought, Daisy's love. Later, she felt the "pressure of the world outside" and Daisy abandons Gatsby and he learns "what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass." On the afternoon following Myrtle's death, he carries his air mattress and starts for the swimming pool, making his way "among the yellowing trees" of an autumn, when leaves begin to die. He is shot by George Wilson, who, "deranged by grief," believes Gatsby drove the "death car."

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The Great Gatsby

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