Rhetorical Devices In The Great Gatsby

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Many of the people in the world regard The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, one of the greatest literary classics of all time. However there is always at least one, most the time few and far between, that disagrees with this statement. H. L. Mencken is one of these persons. After reading the novel Mencken writes an excerpt to be published in the magazine Evening Sun, after all he is one of the leading literary critics of his time. In this essay we will discover how Mencken uses rhetorical devices to portray his thoughts of the novel, The Great Gatsby. First of all, in H. L. Mencken’s Argumentative Analysis, we see how he conveys his tone to show his views of Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. The tone of this analysis is disinterested and unexcitable. Mencken is disappointed in the novel because it is talked up to be one of the best literary achievements ever seen. However according to the tone of Menken’s analysis, he seems to be greatly disappointed in the novel that is supposed to be so great. We see this here, “ … the plain fact (is) that it is simply a story-- that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people” (23-24). Through this we see that Mencken’s tone is conveyed. Mencken is obviously disappointed in the novel, because he simply calls it a story. If however, Mencken had been impressed with the novel, he may have called it something more exciting like a “page-turner” or a “compelling read”.
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