What is the syntax to The Great Gatsby? im trying to understand the text and make a book card to study for the AP exam...What are some examples, using the novel, of syntax?

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gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a complicated question, and to be frank, I'm not sure I fully understand it. Therefore, let me take a swing at it and then you can tell me if it's what you're looking for or not.

Linguistically, "syntax" usually to the structure of sentences and specifically to how the different parts are arranged to make sense. If you mean this sort of syntax, then I would say there are several different syntaxes. There is the reflective and at times poetic voice of the narrator; the last line of the book is a good example here. There are the various "phonographic snapshots" of the period; these show up in dialogue, especially of social events. There are Gatsby's attempts to speak as a member of the upper class.

"Syntax" can also mean the order or connections in a system. If you're talking about this, then I'd look at the way that the characters relate to one another in terms of different qualities. For example, each has a specific relationship to money. Each also has a specific relationship to desire, and to personal identity. These cause or guide the changing relationships in the novel.
Greg

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