The Use of Diction and Imagery in the Novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In Chapter 9 of The Great Gatsby, Nick decides to move back to the Midwest. Before he leaves, he sees Tom and asks him what he had told Wilson after Myrtle’s death. Tom admits he told Wilson that Gatsby owned the yellow car which causes Wilson to shoot Gatsby and then himself. Nick comes to terms with Tom and Daisy when he realizes that they represent all that he feels disdain for. Fitzgerald uses diction and imagery in this scene to suggest that location shapes the behavior and the morals of his main characters that all have moved from the Mid-west to the East in order to express his own opinion of wealth and opportunity.

Fitzgeralds imagery contrasts the nature of the East to the Midwest. The Midwest is a symbol of morality, conservatism, and pragmatism. Nick describes the west as a winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air… We drew in deep breaths of it. . . unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour before we melted indistinguishably into it again. Thats my middle- west (184). Snow represents purity and integrity. Fitzgerald clarifies that in the Midwest one knows their uniqueness and purpose in relation to America. The word brace represents a supportive and compassionate environment that is the Mid-west. In contrast, the East is a symbol of shallowness, carelessness and corruption. Fitzgerald describes the East as night scene by El Greco: a hundred houses, at once conventional and grotesque, crouching under a sullen, overhanging sky and lusterless moon (185). Fitzgeralds harsh description of the East portrays his opinion of it. He shows the hypocrisy of the East because it tries to appear conventional but it really is an unusual place. He uses morose images such as lusterless moon, sullen sky and grotesque houses to show that the East has lost its appeal for Nick. Fitzgerald compares the East and the Mid-west to night and day. He favors the Mid-west by presenting images that represent serenity and honesty. He shows his disapproval of the East through his description of its repugnant and gloomy features.

Through diction, Fitzgerald shows the significance of location to each character. All of the main characters: Tom, Nick, and Daisy were Westerners (184). The West embodies stability and respectability while the East symbolizes negligence, volatility and indecency. Tom and Daisy move to the west because they see its superiority to the bored, sprawling swollen towns beyond the Ohio (184-5). They are able to create a false impression of the East. Fitzgerald uses the word superiority to show the arrogance as well as the wealth of the East. Nick couldnt change the East because it was distorted beyond my eyes power of correction (185). Nick maintains the ethics of the Mid-west while he lives in the East. Fitzgerald uses the word distorted to portray the idea that Nick cant help but see the East as unethical. As Nick begins to see the corruption of the East, Tom and Daisy mold to its expectations. I couldnt forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified (187). Fitzgerald describes Toms deficiency of ethics by showing his disregard for anyone but himself. Nick is able to see the morality that East lacks when he realizes that they were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made (187-188). Tom and Daisy are the epitome of their frivolous generation with no regard for reality. They have cleared themselves of all the morals and values of the West by ridding themselves of my provincial squeamishness forever (188) and becoming a part of the East. Fitzgerald uses the word provincial to suggest Nicks Mid-west values.

Fitzgeralds comparison of the East and West describes the real world implication of the changing generation of the 1920s. The twenties was considered a lost generation in both its values and its instability. This new generation signified all that was different from the previous generation. The old time stability and respectability is represented by the Mid-West: a symbol of morality, conservatism and practicality. Whereas the new generations frivolousness and disregard for reality is represented by the East: a symbol of selfishness and vacuous character. Nick is part of the same generation as Tom, Daisy and Gatsby but he has maintained the morals of the previous generation because he symbolizes the Mid-west. Fitzgeralds opinion of the society he lives in is directed at the opportunists. The American Dream with all its promise and opportunity is portrayed as false. Fitzgerald explains through the character of Gatsby that you can not reinvent yourself. His opinion of the immoral East which represents opportunity stems from his distrust in the American dream.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Love this writer!!! Great work
Customer 452597, April 5th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 9th, 2023
Thank you
Customer 452811, February 17th, 2024
Business and administrative studies
excellent job!
Customer 452773, May 25th, 2023
Social Work and Human Services
Great work I would love to continue working with this writer thought out the 11 week course.
Customer 452667, May 30th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent job! got an A, thank you
Customer 452773, May 24th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent, got a 100
Customer 452773, May 17th, 2023
Social Work and Human Services
Although it took 2 revisions I am satisfied but I did receive it late because of that.
Customer 452603, March 25th, 2021
Customer 452773, January 25th, 2024
Business and administrative studies
excellent job thank you Your Score 166.25/ 175- A 1. Current Culture 15% of total grade 18.37 Criterion "1. Current Culture" has textual feedback Criterion Feedback I see interesting points, though, in general they are not about the culture.
Customer 452773, June 4th, 2023
excellent work
Customer 452773, October 6th, 2023
Great job
Customer 452773, February 13th, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp