What is the literary device/strategy of this quotation: "I have an idea that Gatsby himself didnt believe...amorphous trees"(169)Chapter 8

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The significant word from this passage is amorphous, meaning lacking in specific shape.  For Gatsby's illusionary dream loses its form as it descends to the criminal and the mundane.  Thus, with metaphor, imagery, and dust descriptions, the perversions of Gatsby's dream are illustrated in this passage.  With garden images diminishing, Gatsby learns 

what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. 

The color spectrum of images become ambiguous and ashen and the "foul dust" of the dream intensifies. It is a world of ghosts and a perversion of the American Dream with Gatsby's pretentions and corruption.  Foreshadowing, too, is included as "that ashen, fantastic figure" approaches him in the form of Mr. Wilson. These changing color images suggest the deterioration and inverting to Gatsby's dream and the approaching end of his life.

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