“The day agreed upon was pouring rain. At eleven o’clock a man in a raincoat dragging a lawn-mower tapped at my front door and said that Mr. Gatsby had sent him over to cut my grass.” (Fitzgerald 88)
“ ‘Come here quick!’ cried Daisy at the window. The rain was still falling, but the darkness had parted in the west, and there was a pink and golden billow of foamy clouds above the sea.
“ ‘Look at that,’ she whispered, and then after a moment: ‘I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.’ ” (Fitzgerald 99)
“The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer. As my train emerged from the tunnel into the sunlight, only the hot whistles of the National Biscuit Company broke the simmering hush at noon. The straw seats of the car hovered on the edge of combustion; the woman next to me perspired delicately for a while into her white shirtwaist and then, as her newspaper dampened under her fingers, lapsed despairingly into the deep heat with a desolate cry.” (Fitzgerald 121-122)
These multiple passages show how the weather surrounding the events in a story can help the reader to determine the mood of the story at that moment. For example, on the day that Gatsby is planned to meet with Daisy, it is raining prior to the meeting. In this situation, the rain represents both a melancholy mood and an anxious mood. Gatsby in beginning to doubt himself in asking Nick to do this favor for him and the rain reflects the fact that he is unsure of himself. However, when Gatsby and Daisy rekindle their friendship and love, the weather clears up and becomes sunny and beautiful out. The sudden change in weather shows the change in the character’s feelings. Now, both Gatsby and Daisy are comfortable with each other and are enjoying both their memories together and the fact that they are back together.
Also, towards the conclusion of the novel, as tension begins to rise, the weather becomes very hot. Usually with hot weather, tempers begin to rise and people become more short-fused. Fitzgerald shows this by describing how the surrounding characters are acting. For example, the woman at the train station and the people around her assume that Nick is a thief when he attempts to pick up her dropped pocketbook.
This use of the weather to portray the mood of the story was used magnificently by William Shakespeare. The two examples that come to mind are from Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as Macbeth prepares to kill Duncan, he is surrounded by terrible rainstorms. Unlike in The Great Gatsby however, these storms reflect the corruption of the order instead of just anxiety. In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt’s battle is accompanied by extremely hot weather, like the conclusion of The Great Gatsby. As in The Great Gatsby, the boiling weather creates tension and flaring tempers, and in this case, leads to a fight and a death.
*Picture Coming As Soon As I Can Find The Cord To My Camera. =) *