THE GREAT GATSBY
The passage deals with the description of the major character of the novel and American society after World War I.
He did extraordinarily well in the war. He was a captain before he went to the front, and following the Argonne bat ties he got his majority and the command of the divisional machine-guns. After the Armistice he tried frantically to get home, but some complication or misunderstanding sent him to Oxford instead. He was worried now -there was a quality of nervous despair in Daisy's letters. She didn't see why he couldn't come. She was feeling the pressure of the world outside, and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.
For Daisy was young and her artificial world vas redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of theyear, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in newtunes. All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the "Beale Street Blues" while a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust. At the gray tea hour there were always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low, sweet fever, while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the sad horns around the floor.
Through this twilight universe Daisy began to move again with the season; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men, and drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads and chiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floor beside her bed. And all the time something within her was crying for a decision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately- and the decision must be made by some force - of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality - that was close at hand.
That force took shape in the middle of spring with the arrival of Tom Buchanan. There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his position, and Daisy was flattered. Doubtless there was a certain struggle and a certain relief. The letter reached Gatsby while he was still at Oxford.
1. Speak on the subject-matter of the passage.
2. What SDs are used in the first paragraph to show the mood of the characters after World War I?
3. Analyse the stylistic peculiarities (syntactical and phonetic) in the sentence "She was feeling the pressure of the world outside, and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all."
4. What EMs and SDs stress the contradictory character of bourgeois society? (Pick out epithets, contextual antonyms, oxymoronic combinations, etc.)
5. Analyse the SDs of zeugma in the sentence "There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his position", and say how it reveals the author's attitude to Tom Buchanan.
6. Analyse the last two paragraphs of the passage. Comment on the implication suggested by a kind of antithesis "Doubtless there was a certain struggle and a certain relief, and the unpredictability of the clinching sentence.
7. Summing up the analysis discuss the SDs used to describe Daisy's "artificial world".