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09/04/2019

How to write a close analysis?

QUESTION
How to write a close analysis?
I have to do a close analysis reading on the last three paragraphs of The Great Gatsby and then write a close analysis essay about it???

I have no clue how to write my essay. What do i write about????

Thank you very much!

ANSWER
I don’t know what level your aiming to achieve but i’m guessing you just want basics.

Close analysis is basically where you assume the author has thought long and hard over every single word choice and you try and explain why he would have chosen those words and what effect they have. So take a short quote, then analyse the hell out of it.

So if your essay is about the text from “And as I sat there brooding…” til the end you’ll probably want to talk about color symbolism and the futility of the american dream.

for example:
Fitzgerald uses color symbolism to comment on the american dream for example Gatsby’s dream was always the other side of “The green light at the end of Daisy’s Dock.” The color green is used a lot throughout the novel. At first being used to describe the ‘green’ land land that the first settlers discovered. It represented the limitless opportunity of this new land, the hope of a better life and the american dream itself, that any man could work hard and achieve whatever he wanted. However over time the color comes to represent the green of money. In many respects it is still seen as the same, it offers people hope, there are limitless opportunities to make it and if you work hard you can have as much as you want. However it is not the same, no amount of money will make you happy, you can not buy the american dream.

Gatsby thought all he needed was money, and made it through illegal means so the color green came to represent corruption as well. In this quote we can see green used to represent all these things, the hope Gatsby has of a better life if he could just get Daisy to love him, the money he made in trying to pursue it and ultimately the corruption of Gatsby’s dream. It is corrupted because he thinks that what he wants it Daisy but what he really wants is in the past, and so he will never achieve it and no amount of money, or even the love of Daisy will never make him happy.

The imagery of the dock can also be seen to show the futility of his dream, in that it is ‘so close he can hardly fail to grasp it’ but it lies across a body of water he can not cross. This image as water as an barrier is used again to show the futility of the american dream in the closing lines where Fitzgerald says Gatsby has his “boat against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past”

and then analyse that quote to death talking about, how people can never achieve perfection, and the futility of the american dream. You could then link to talking about the current state of America, talking about “the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.” Talk about why the fields are dark now instead of green and what he could by implying when he says America is under night.

Hopefully you can see how much you can take from a small quote and this will help you with your close analysis and your essay.

Check out my site www.quote-companion.co.uk for more quotes and explanations and best of luck