The Great Gatsby Literary Terms

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Simile – an indirect relationship where one thing or idea is described as being similar to another. Similes usually contain the words “like” or “as” but not always.
• “Jay Gatsby had broken up like glass against Tom s hard malice…” (105)
Oxymoron – A contradiction in terms.
• “two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all” (10)
• “definitely unfamiliar” (88)
• “ferocious indifference” (74)
Personification – where inanimate objects or abstract concepts are seemingly endowed with human self-awareness; where human thoughts, actions, perceptions, and emotions are directly attributed to inanimate objects or abstract ideas.
• “The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens…”(10)
Anaphora – the repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences, commonly in conjunction with a climax and with parallelism:
• “Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright
passionate mouth” (13)
Alliteration – The repetition of consonant sounds within close proximity, usually in consecutive words within the same sentence or line.
• “fantastic farm” “grotesque gardens” “obscure operations” (21)
Symbol – The use of specific objects or images to represent abstract ideas.
• The eyes of Dr. TJ. Eckleburg can be symbolic of God‟s all-seeing eyes.
• Wolfshiem’s cufflinks made of human teeth are a symbol of his connection to the underworld.
Metaphor – a direct relationship where one thing or idea substitutes for another.
• “Her voice is full of money” (88, 132)

I suggest you going through the Quiz to find out how well you have read the novel. Thank you for all your support!