Identify seven figures of speech from the passages from The Great Gatsby and write commentary (connect to the tone).We walked through a high hallway into a bright rose-colored space, fragilely...

Identify seven figures of speech from the passages from The Great Gatsby and write commentary (connect to the tone).

We walked through a high hallway into a bright rose-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a littlt way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling-and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.

The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room and the curtains and rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The figures of speech in this passage from The Great Gatsby contribute to the imagery and mood of the passage and establish Tom as the destroyer of illusions, a role he plays repeatedly in the novel.

I won't repeat the list given by the previous editor, except to suggest that curtains can ripple, so I wouldn't include that example in the list.  I could be wrong.

I would add personification to the list:  pictures don't really groan, and wind can't really die. 

These figures of speech contribute to the imagery in the passage, which establishes the mood.  Until Tom arrives, the imagery and the mood are light and airy.  Tom puts a stop to that:  he "shut the rear windows and the caught wind died...."  The writer here juxtaposes (places side by side) the contrasting imagery, aided by the figures of speech.  The mood is shifted as the imagery changes. 

Of course, at the heart of the passage is the death of still another illusion in the novel.  An illusion destroyed by Tom.  The women floating is a poignant illusion, but a short-lived one.

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags - simile 

twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling - metaphor comparing the moulding to the decorative nature of a wedding cake

and then rippled over the wine-colored rug - figurative language, water ripples, not curtains...

making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea - simile

two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon - figurative language, sea terms used in a living room

They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house - simile

boom - Onomatopoeia

All of the figures of speech or evidences of figurative language here are relating to the sea, or water life, even just travel. This is significant because they are right there on Long Island Sound. This tone plays to the characterization of these folks - well-to-do Nautica types. 

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