Language Features

  • Fitzgerald uses many allusions throughout the novel. Select one of these allusions and explain the connection between it and the book.

“Her face was sad and lovely(1) with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth(2), but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion(3)

    1. juxtaposition- the two adjectives can be compared and contrasted to give a more in-depth understanding about the object being defined. In this case, it is used to show the irony behind Daisy’s persona. It reflects her empty white personality that is hidden or overshadowed by her beautiful and ‘lovely’ appearance. This is the illusion Gatsby fell under, only seeing her as the gorgeous unharmful daisy rather than the true rose that she is. He didn’t realise the melancholy that comes with living in the high status he’s dreaming of being a part of.
    2. Fitgerald refers to eyes a lot throughout the book, they come to this passage when describing Daisy. He says she has bright eyes, even on a sad but lovely face; I feel this means her eyes are easy to read and are the windows to her soul. We can understand a lot through Daisy’s eyes, especially when she’s not truly happy when she smiles. Fitzgerald says she has ‘a bright passionate mouth’ to show she has to put effort into and is passionate about lying through her teeth. She uses her mouth to hide the fact that she is not happy living in her ‘fulfilled’ life, however, her eyes are the downfall to this act. We learn the truth through her eyes, even if she puts on an extraordinary play with her mouth.


  1. The tone of Daisy’s voice can change frequently due to the mood she is in or wants to be in. She has a certain way with her voice that can become very persuasive when she wants it to. Daisy uses this ‘singing compulsion’ to allure men in physically and emotionally. This is used effectively against Tom and Gatsby who both fall under the charm of her voice.



“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes(1) before us. It eluded(2) us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther(3). . . . And one fine morning ——So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past(4).” -metaphoric piece

  1. Emotive language- ‘Greenlight’ and ‘orgastic future’ had represented hope. The green light on the end of daisy’s dock was the symbol of hope for Gatsby throughout the novel. We see the progression of it being bright then clouding over until he no longer looked for it. The hope for an exciting future with Daisy ahead began to gradually diminish slowly until it was no longer there for Gatsby.
  2. The dream had slipped out from Gatsby’s firm grasp, it had escaped him, but they will never be able to escape it. Gatsby was just another person who failed to find the past by attempting to restore and transcend their past lives. His unobtainable dream failed because of the impossibility of it all.
  3. ‘Faster’ and ‘further’ are connotative languages to give the reader the impression that they will never give up. That every day, they would push on never losing sight of their dream. Gatsby stayed very optimistic for over five years even though everything seemed to go wrong for him. He always was getting pushed back and never got close enough to the dream that it became tangible. This language shows the dream did not die with Gatsby.
  4. Remembering that water represents time, we know they stayed persistent with fighting the time but struggled to make it to the past. They kept rowing towards the green light of hope, even though they were getting held back by the present. The present was restricting them from turning their dreams into reality, they were too tangled in the illusion they spun themselves to move on. We can relate this line to ‘The American Dream’ as people trapped outside it keep pushing, keep working even though they are making no progress in life and never will until an opportunity springs on them. They keep that one hope of escaping the cycle as motivation to keep going.


“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white(1) face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God(2)… Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch, she blossomed like a flower (3) and the incarnation was complete. 

    1. connotative language- White has many meanings that come with it, which is why it is a perfect colour to assign with Daisy. At first white means pure, beauty and innocence however, he comes to learn that for Daisy, White actually comes with the feeling of emptiness, plain and indecision. When we look deeper into Daisy as a character, these words describe her very accurately. The word white is referenced with Daisy a lot through the novel to help us have a more in-depth understanding of her as a character.
    2. Gatsby had been planning this moment for too long, he couldn’t rush and let it ruin his dream. It had to follow the perfection he saw her as. He knew once the moment had happened, he couldn’t take it back, so he would fully commit his life to her when it did. He would take his crazy and unrealistic visions for their future together with him. Gatsby would stop looking for other girls, changing his antics from before he met Daisy. However, sadly for Gatsby, he was committing his whole life to a perishable soul, one that wouldn’t care to stay around to stick it out to the end.
    3. This is a reference to a continuous symbol and extended metaphor of flowers throughout the novel. The flowers focus on characters and their actions but especially focus on Daisy and her transitions that we slowly understand. With Gatsby, she begins to ‘blossom’ out playing with the hearts of more characters. This was her transition from a harmless and common daisy to a painful rose to Gatsby. She had now become dangerous to Gatsby as he would begin to fall even harder for her, it gave him a larger hope that his dream would come true and Dasiy knew all along it never could.

Allusion-” I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities, and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew.” Midas is a greek god who was very rich and successful. He was so greedy that his wish was that everything he touched turned into gold, which got granted to him; he regreted his choice very soon after. Morgan was a very powerful banker in his time, he was known as the ‘king of banking and finace.” However, he was accused of exploting the systems for his own benefits.  Maecenas was a very trusted political advisors; his efforts went towards Octavian. Because of this very high role, he was trusted with supreme excecutive control in Italy. All these men can be related to the Great Gatsby because of their high stauses, wealth, fulfulment and greed. Gatsby himself was like Midas and liked to boast about his money by throwing extravangant partes. He could also relate to Maecenas because he liked to tell many stories about his successful life (even if they were false.) Tom could relate them all because he has the high status, wealth and espeacially his greed. Fitzgerald used these three men to emphazise a main idea within the novel The Great Gatsby.

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