What literary devices does Fitzgerald use to chracterize Nick's memories of his first visit to Tom and Daisy's?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fitzgerald uses much imagery in describing the luxurious nature of the Buchannan's home:

Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water...

Later, Nick narrates about the home with great personification:

Their house... a cheerfulred-and-white Georgian Colonial...

The lawn... rantoward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping oversun-dials and brick walls and burning gardens...

Throughout the first experience Nick encounters with the Buchannan's he completely characterizesthem as snobby rich people who could care less about anyone else:

They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. 

This depiction of the rich snobs continues with the development of the character Tom. Tom likes to express that he has a nice place instead of letting Nick compliment him. Tom likes to think that Tom is intelligent and he tries to show that to Nick, but Nick sees right through him. These are all features that characterize. 

Fitzgerald also uses simile, metaphorand strong dictionto depict Nick's visual experience when meeting Daisy and Jordan for the first time in the novel:

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.

Moments after this series of literary devices, he repeats them with new similes comparing the women's dresses to something that could carry them in flight around the house. He uses the couch to demonstrate the women sitting as if they were buoys anchored there floating. 

In the end of the chapter, after Nick returns home, he sees an important symbolthat becomes more relevant later in the book. The green light at the end of the Buchannan's dock is something a strange man next door seems to be reaching for. In fact, this quest or reach that Gatsby has is done with such trembling of his arms Nick sits on the thought for a few moments. This event foreshadows much of the future of the novel. 


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The Great Gatsby

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