The Great Gatsby
From Chapter 3—Gatsby’s parties
This is the opening paragraph to chapter 3:
There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city, between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants including an extra gardener toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.
Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York—every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour, if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler’s thumb.
At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another.
1. How does Fitzgerald enrich our sense of Gatsby’s parties?
2. What syntactical device is Fitzgerald using in the second sentence? What is the effect?
3. In this same sentence, how does Fitzgerald manage to use imagery that affects several senses? What is the effect?
4. What is the effect of the simile in the second sentence? Consider the connotations of the word “moths.”
5. How does Fitzgerald help you to imagine just exactly what the two motor boats look like, going through the Sound?
6. What is the effect of the simile in the sentence beginning “On week-ends”?
7. What is the effect of the polysyndeton in the last sentence of the first paragraph?
8.Why would Fitzgerald choose to use a dash in the first sentence of the second paragraph? How does the dash link the two halves of this sentence?
9.What is the connotation of “corps” in the third paragraph?
10.What is the effect of the alliteration in the sentence beginning “On buffet tables”?
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