People’s feelings and emotions are often changed or affected by the weather. There are also many stereotypes that go along with the weather. For example on rainy days people often feel sad or on very hot days people often have short tempers and can become angry easily. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald relies heavily on the weather and the environment to emphasize events and people. This is clearly seen during the days of Gatsby’s reunion with Daisy, Gatsby’s funeral, and the confrontation between Gatsby and Tom.
One of the more important times that F. Scott Fitzgerald relies on the weather and the environment to emphasize events and people in The Great Gatsby is the day of Gatsby’s reunion with her. This day is very important to Gatsby as he has been counting the days since he last saw Daisy. Gatsby has asked Nick to invite daisy over to Nick’s place for tea so that Gatsby could come over and be reunited with her. “The day agreed upon was pouring rain” (Fitzgerald 81). While they wait For Daisy, Gatsby is uncharacteristically nervous.
He is so nervous that he tells Nick that he is going to go home because he doesn’t think that Daisy will show up. The rain helps to emphasise the how nervous and worried Gatsby is. At first, when Daisy shows up, Gatsby is awkward and his fingers are even “trembling” (Fitzgerald 84) but after Nick leaves him alone for half an hour, he comes back to find Gatsby back to his confident self. When Nick walks back in the room he informs Gatsby, as well as the reader, that “it’s stopped raining” (Fitzgerald 86) and at this news Gatsby smiles “like an ecstatic patron of recurrent light” (Fitzgerald 86). The fact that it has stopped raining helps to emphasise that Gatsby has gained back his sureness and has his usual self confidence.
Another time that is significant in The Great Gatsby where F. Scott Fitzgerald relies on the weather and the environment to emphasize events and people is on the day of Gatsby’s funeral. On the day of the funeral the rain creates a sad mood. When Nick goes to New York to see Meyer Wolfshiem and he says he can not attend the funeral we first learn that it is raining out. “When I left his office the sky turned dark and I got back to West egg in drizzle” (Fitzgerald 163). This sets the mood for a sad, gloomy day.
Although during all of Gatsby’s very large and expansive parties he is surrounded by people, his funeral is quite the opposite with only Nick, Mr. Gatz, Owl-eyes and a few of Gatsby’s servants attending the funeral, “our procession of three cars reached the ceremony” (Fitzgerald 165). The weather stays this way all day and Gatsby’s funeral ends up being a very sad and miserable event. This is very unlike the funeral earlier in the book where people are celebrating the life of their friend and remembering all the good times they spent together as they pass Nick and Gatsby in “cheerful carriages” (Fitzgerald 67).
F. Scott Fitzgerald again relies on the weather and the environment to emphasize events and people in The Great Gatsby on the day of the confrontation between Gatsby and Tom. When Tom, Nick Gatsby, Jordan and Daisy all go to New York they decide to get a suite at the Plaza Hotel. It is here on the hottest day of the summer that Tom and Gatsby have their big fight. The “broiling” (Fitzgerald 109) weather causes everyone’s tempers to be short and helps to establish the hateful, fierce mood of the confrontation. In the end, Tom wins the dispute and everyone, except Gatsby, can see that Daisy is going to stay with Tom.
The next day, now that the reader understands that Daisy is going to remain with Tom, the weather cools down and it is chilly outside “The night had made a sharp difference in the weather and there was an autumn flavour in the air” (Fitzgerald 146). Just as Gatsby refuses to accept the fact that he can not go back in time and that Daisy really did and still does love Tom, in this instance he refuses to accept that it is no longer summer. When the gardener tells Gatsby that he wants to drain the pool to stop leaves from clogging the pipes, Gatsby tells him that he can not do this today and that Gatsby has not swam all year and plans to do so today. Gatsby believes that he can go back in time and make it warm, just like he believes ha can go back in time and make Daisy love him.
In conclusion people’s emotions and feelings are often affected or can be changed by the weather. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald relies heavily on the weather and the environment to emphasize events and people. F. Scott Fitzgerald really uses this during the days of Gatsby’s reunion with Daisy, Gatsby’s funeral, and the confrontation between Gatsby and Tom. Like many great writers such as William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses pathetic fallacy to help the reader to better understand what is happening, create suspense, and put emphasise on different incidents throughout the novel.
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