Literary devices

Allegory

In the novel, Fitzgerald creates an allegory of the American dream. Gatsby strives for everything that Americans typically strive for. He comes from a poor background and makes himself very rich, trying to associate himself with European traditions, culture and education along the way. The problem is that Gatsby's methods of getting his riches are legally questionable, and his associations with culture and sophistication are superficial. Through the story of Gatsby, his rise, and his fall, Fitzgerald makes an allegory about the problems and corruption that lie at the heart of the American dream.

Foreshadowing

The novel contains numerous examples of foreshadowing, both direct and indirect.

Direct examples of foreshadowing are seen when Nick, speaking from his future point of view, directly gives us hints and suggestions about what is going to happen. An early example is his vague summary of Gatsby’s life and the effect it had on Nick in the introduction:

 “No - Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elati...

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