Student Samples from analysis of Ch. 1 (The Great Gatsby)
[sounds like a 4-low 5 essay]
In this scene of The Great Gatsby, the main character, Nick, is meeting with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband, Tom. The phone begins to ring, ruining the atmosphere of the small party and leading to the conversation presented. The contradiction of the nightingale being “romantic” adds to the startled atmosphere and reflects the difference between Daisy and Myrtle. The nightingale is often associated with great sorrow; the characterization of it as “romantic” is quite contradictory, thus making the passage a juxtaposition. This helps to add to the subtle comparison between Daisy, Tom’s wife, and Myrtle, his mistress.
Nick is not necessarily the main character.
This is summary! (a “2”)
Beware phrases with a “the noun” construction (“his attitude”; “the way”; etc.) – without a clearly ...view middle of the document...
Baker. She resorts to speaking of a bird, a nightingale, who had been “singing romantically,” which contradicts Daisy’s current feelings toward Tom. Furthermore, the ringing of the telephone brings an immediate interruption of the “nightingale” conversation and practically destroys it. The phone brings back much negative memory of Tom’s and Daisy’s ongoing conflict.
Clarify device: “the juxtaposition of ____ and _____ functions…”
“Daisy’s current feelings” – see my note above regarding “the noun” constructions.
The statement beginning with “the ringing” is valid; however, the student has not answered the “So?” The writer must effectively link this statement back to the claim in the first sentence or state a 2nd level of significance (in the use of juxtaposition).
The “ongoing conflict” needs to be defined and developed.
SEE NEXT PAGE FOR A “HIGHER SCORE” SAMPLE.
[sounds like a 7-9 essay]
Knowing the mythology behind the nightingale, the placement of it next to Tom’s mistress calling presents a sharp contrast between the romance and fidelity he should have with his wife and the affair he has with Myrtle. It is the difference between this ideal romance Daisy has and the suffering and dishonesty that really exists between her and Tom. There is even a contrast between the musical quality of Daisy’s voice and the shrill metallic tone of the telephone. Fitzgerald includes this to really highlight the idea that there is a romanticized feeling of life held by many of the characters, including Daisy; however, it cannot overcome the “startling” and often suffering reality that is inescapable, even by the richest of individuals.
“The mythology” – though implied through subsequent commentary – should be briefly named. (For ex: the mythology of haunting beauty)
This sentence regarding the “difference” is nicely paired with the preceding sentence regarding contrast; it offers the figurative significance of the literal level.
Concluding commentary is of good quality, because the student addresses the immediate context but also offers a more comprehensive statement of significance (i.e. what Daisy has in common with other characters).