In what chapters can you find a rhetorical questions?I been able to find only one question, in chapter eight: "What coud you make of that?", that is a rhetorical question, what are some other...

In what chapters can you find a rhetorical questions?

I been able to find only one question, in chapter eight: "What coud you make of that?", that is a rhetorical question, what are some other examples?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In Chapter #3, there is a car crash on Gatsby’s land, during one of his parties. A character referred to only as “Owl Eyes” is trying to explain that it was not he that was driving. The crowd standing around asks him what was he doing, how did the crash occur, and one of the members of the crowd asks a rhetorical question:

An awed hush fell upon the bystanders.

“Do you want to commit suicide?”

“You’re lucky it was just a wheel! A bad driver and not even TRYing!”

He is not expecting an answer from “Owl Eyes” regarding the suicide, which makes the question rhetorical.

In Chapter #5, Nick invites Daisy to tea at his house, at Gatsby’s request, and Nick tells Daisy not to bring Tom. Daisy asks a rhetorical question to which she does not expect an answer, because she is being coy:

“Don’t bring Tom,” I warned her.

“What?”

“Don’t bring Tom.”

“Who is ‘Tom’?” she asked innocently.

In Chapter #7, during the afternoon outing to New York City, Gatsby is encouraging Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him. Daisy asks a rhetorical question – to which she does not expect an answer—how could she ever have loved Tom?

“Daisy, that’s all over now,” he said earnestly. “It doesn’t matter any more. Just tell him the truth — that you never loved him — and it’s all wiped out forever.”

She looked at him blindly. “Why — how could I love him — possibly?”

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Rhetorical questions are used for a number of reasons.  Sometimes they are used for dramatic effect, to spur emotion and thought in the listener as in persuasive arguments.  However, in F. Scott Fitgerald's The Great Gatsby, a novel dominated by the motif of illusion and superficiality, the rhetorical questions asked by certain characters seem more often to underscore this motif. 

That the rhetorical questions are silly or a superficial way of deliberating with oneself is evidenced in the character of Daisy whose question to her little girl, whom she has prayed would be "a little fool" is ridiculous.  When the child appears and is introduced to her company which includes Gatsby, Daisy asks,

Did mother get powder on you old yellowy hair?....How do you like mother's friends?

Daisy's superficial way of deliberating with herself occurs also in Chapter One when Nick asks Daisy if she knows his neighbor in West Egg, Jay Gatsby:

Gatsby?...What Gatsby?

In addition to Daisy's use of rhetorical questions, their employment as a form of dramatic effect is exemplified in Chapter Five with the character of Jay Gatsby, who, in his attempt to impress Nick as he and Gatsby wait on the lawn for Daisy asks,

My house looks well, doesn't it?...See how the whoe front of it catches the light.

In Chapter Eight, as Nick and he go out onto the porch after breakfast and the garderner announces that he is going to drain the pool, Gatsby tells him not to do it this day.  Turning to Nick, apologetically, Gatsby says,

"You know, old sport, I've never used that pool all summer?"

Of course, the dramatic irony of this question, too, is that the pool is the location of Gatsby's demise.

 

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