F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby paints the picture of the way life was in the twenties. This society has the characteristics of an egotist and one who pays no attention the character of themselves. Fitzgerald’s style influences the reader to portray this era as a carefree “do what feels good” society. However, Fitzgerald introduces the countless number of tragedies that take place. Through diction, imagery, and details Fitzgerald creates a morose tone.
The writer evokes the reader’s feelings through particular words and their meanings. In the phrase, “. . . I began to look involuntarily out the window for other cars,” the word involuntarily grabs the reader. This phrase makes the reader feel melancholy for Gatsby because it it’s depressing for no one to come to the funeral. It reveals how Nick and Mr. Gatz experience anticipation. Both of them know devoutly that no one will come pay their respects to Jay Gatsby. Mainly because they wait half an hour for people to show up. Also, in the phrase “. . . his eyes began to blink anxiously” the word anxiously shows Nick’s dolefulness for the lack of sympathy that Gatsby fails to receive. The word procession reflects the despair and lack of friendship that Gatsby witnesses in his life. The lack of companionship that Gatsby has cogitates how lonely and despondent he is. Through the uses of certain words the author helps express feelings and emotions of the morose tone.
Through imagery Fitzgerald can make the reader feel like they are in the story. Water, specifically evokes the senses. It describes how the procession of cars stopped in a thick drizzle. This depicts how gloomy it appears outside. The reader can hardly see the three cars because of continuous soaking. They describe a motor hearse as “. . . horribly black and wet.” A hearse normally portrays a solemn feeling, but the words horribly, black, and wet allow the reader to feel the misery and mournfulness of death. The ground is soggy as someone splashes through it. You can smell the wet turf and feel the saturation beneath the feet. The use of water in the story aids the reader in understanding the morose setting.
Fitzgerald uses certain detailed sequences to help explain the somberness of Jay Gatsby. In the first significant sequence Nick and Mr. Gatz wait for people to show up at the funeral. This shows the lack of friends and well-wishers that are in Gatsby’s life. The reader feels cheerless for Gatsby due to the lack of fulfillment he has in his life. Next, after a half hour the procession of three cars finally reaches the cemetery. This pathetic scene shows the products of Gatsby’s arrogant and cocky lifestyle. Because of his personality, very few come to pay their respects. This is a very lugubrious situation. Finally, the scene in which the unidentified man comes to pay his respects helps the reader view Gatsby through a different perspective. Though Gatsby was not well liked, this lone stranger looked past the arrogant ways and saw an intellectual man. However, it it’s still poignant how no one comes to the funeral. These significant sequences give the reader better understanding of the morose tone and the emotional state of Jay Gatsby.
Due to the way Fitzgerald portrays the passage in slow motion to make the reader feel each emotion and see each image in such vivid detail, it’s as if the reader is seeing it take place. Through diction, imagery, and details Fitzgerald produces a morose tone.