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Word Count: 1,895
When F Scott Fitzgerald turns on the heat in Gatsby he amplifies a single detail into an element of function and emphasis that transforms neutral landscapes into oppressive prisms Through these prisms which distort and color the lives of Fitzgeralds characters we see why humans elations are as Nick Carraway describes them shortwinded Gatsby 2 Heat is the antithesis of Jay Gatsby It is symptomatic of his undoing his nemesis As he suited up in his cool demeanor time and time again perhaps we should have guessed that his coldly methodical five-year plan to restore the past would end up in the sizzling heat of a five-hour showdown as useless as one of the spent matchheads Daisy flings so carelessly after lighting a cigarette From midafternoon at the Buchanan palace to twilight at the Plaza Hotel Fitzgeralds emphasis on the oppressive heat sticks out as clearly as Gatsbys pink suit against Daisys crimson carpet It is an emphasis that has a cumulative effect of placing characters into a setting they cannot escape and into a situation that reflects their internal discomfort The plot heats up as the setting heats up furthering suspense while placing untested characters in such boiling heat that their lives can find expression only in explosive release or resignation Their tempers flare as the temperature rises and it is not until they lose their composure that anything begins to cool In Fitzgeralds stylish hands heat functions to shape plot and test character His acute recognition of the role of atmosphere in both furthering conflict and testing character is illustrated by his unwavering use of detail from first to final draft From the beginning of these scenes to the end we are made to feel the relentless heat as clearly as we see the green leather seats in Gatsby yellow car Fitzgeralds revision adds more than degrees to the hot day Heat serves to parallel the acceleration of conflict between Gatsby and Tom
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