Rhetorical questioning used in The Great Gatsby?In what chapter, paragraph, or page is rhetorical questioning used?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Great Gatsby has a narrator, Nick, who tells us this story from the perspective of time and distance.  Because of that, he not only relates the events of the story but also gives us his reactions, his reflections, and his subsequent revelations about the narrative.  That means any rhetorical questioning will probably come from Nick, as he ponders the meaning of what's happening in the story.

In chapter 8 (page 160 in my book), Nick asks a rhetorical question--which is, of course, a question for which an answer is neither expected nor required.  This scene takes place right at the end of the novel, when Nick is talking with Gatsby the morning after the accident and the apparent re-uniting of Tom and Daisy.  Gatsby says, "'In any case,...it was just personal.'"  Nick as narrator then says the following:  

What could you make of that, except to suspect some intensity in his conception of the affair that couldn't be measured?

This is Nick's reflection on Gatsby's statement, a reflection he makes for and with us, not with Gatsby.

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The Great Gatsby

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