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Great Gatsby - Feeling Under the Weather

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Feeling Under the Weather

The phrase "under the weather" usually refers to a person who is feeling melancholy or down in the dumps. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald makes subtle references to the weather that symbolize the mood of characters. When Daisy and Gatsby meet at Nick's house, she breaks down and the weather coordinates with her mood; when Gatsby and Tom are fighting for Daisy it is boiling hot outside; when Nick goes to visit Daisy and Tom for the first time on a "warm windy evening" (6) and Tom shuts the window, thus cutting off the wind, the intensity of awkwardness rises.

Daisy is an emotional calamity at moments in the novel; her mood swings are as twisted as a tornado. After five whole years, Daisy and Gatsby finally reunite. Before Gatsby sees the object of his obsession, Daisy, anxiety engulfs him and he becomes impatient, thinking that "'nobody's coming to tea. It's too late!' He looked at his watch as if there was some pressing demand on his time elsewhere. 'I can't wait all day'" (85). While Gatsby is fretting, outside, the rain "cooled about half-past three to a damp mist" (85). When the two lovers finally come together, Daisy is consumed by grief and old memories infiltrate her mind. As Daisy realizes it is too late to be with Gatsby, she is filled with regret because Gatsby was her one true love and she is already married to Tom. Just when she thinks that it is miraculous to see Gatsby again, the mist turns to pouring rain; "Once more it was pouring, and my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby's gardener, abounded in small muddy swamps and prehistoric marshes" (88). Daisy's quickly falling tears represent the heavy rain outside. However, the mood automatically changes, when Nick enters the room. Just as Daisy tries to cover up her tears, Nick points out that "it's stopped raining" (89). Gatsby "literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room" (89). As Gatsby is glowing and shinning, the sun begins to shine and "there were twinkle-bells of sunshine in the room" (89). However, rain and sunshine are not the only aspects of the weather that Fitzgerald uses to describe the characters moods.

In the hotel room, Fitzgerald uses an increase of heat outdoors to represent the increase of emotional heat inside the room. The enormous tension already in the room is elevated when Gatsby and Tom snap at each other. Gatsby clearly loves Daisy and he just wants her to himself already. He wants her SO bad! Daisy and Gatsby's love increases every passing day just like "the sun's getting hotter every year" (118). There is a awkward tension between Daisy, Gatsby and Tom in the room, but finally Gatsby impulsively tells Tom the truth "

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