Bullock Period 4 1/11/07
Importance of Landscape in the Great Gatsby
In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the descriptions of landscape reflect the theme of the distinction between social classes that pervades the book. Two vehicles through which Fitzgerald describes the landscape include Gatsby’s house, and the geography of New York and its weather.
The descriptions of Gatsby’s house changes as the book progresses, and it should be noticed that they parallel changes in the plot, and highlight the theme. In previous chapters, Gatsby’s house is just as much of an enigma as Gatsby himself. As Nick describes the parties that his neighbor throws, the house becomes a luminous entity in itself. Nick narrates, “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the stars.” (43). Nicks indifferent attitude with a tinge of curiosity reflects his upbringing and temperament that separates him from the aristocrats that frequent Gatsby’s parties. Fitzgerald’s use of the word “blue” to describe the gardens, conjures up images of a crepuscular evanescence, and twilight. It is fitting with the mood of the story: subdued, without the intensity that characterizes later chapters. The changes in weather also illuminate the contrariety between Gatsby and Daisy, two very different people who illustrate the disparity between classes. When Gatsby and Daisy first meet, it is raining outside. Nick narrates, “While the rain continued, it had seemed like the murmur of their voices, rising and swelling a little, now and then, with gusts of emotion. But in the new silence I felt that silence had fallen within the house too.” (94). The dour, melancholy atmosphere that the rain creates symbolizes the tension that accompanies Daisy’s and Gatsby’s meeting. As Gatsby reverts back to the shy, awkward boy, and not the Oxford educated socialite he masquerades to be, his plainer background becomes evident. He does not posses the...