Critical Analysis Notes For The Great Gatsby Chapter 5 Pg. 99-102 [only these pages]

Its a quick and simple Critical Analysis For The Great Gatsby From Pg.99-102, The Critical Analysis Requirement Sheet is attached.
These Are Teachers Notes:
Remember to focus on 1] Character, 2] Setting, 3] Symbolism and imagery [especially colors, watching/eyes, American Dream/dreams, time, persona] and 4] Critical Theory.
Please Tell Me If You Want The Pictures Of The Pages Of The Book.

Close Reading/Critical Analysis

[New Critical approach to textual analysis]


Critical Analysis, or Close Reading, is a method of examining the text of a work closely, making detailed observations of the interactions between the words, figures of speech, images and symbols used by the writer. Close Reading aims to detect the patterns in the text that, working together, develop the theme of the work. In a critical analysis only the text of the work is considered. Close Reading’s focus is the text itself; no reference is made to outside sources [other than a dictionary].


Before annotating the text [making notes], go through the following steps.

  1. Title – think about the title, brainstorm any associations or reactions you have to the title as a whole or the individual words which make up the title.
  2. Read through the text Read it as it is punctuated. Try to get a sense of the literal meaning of the text, of what, on the surface, is happening.
  3. Underline any unfamiliar worlds. Look up the meaning.


Now that you have a sense of understanding the text on a surface level, you are ready to peel away the layers of meaning. In order to do this, you will annotate [make notes] on each of the following literary elements.





  1. Setting – Make notes on the physical and psychological setting and environment in the
    • What visual details are used to indicate the location where the text takes place? Jot down any sensory images that are used to establish this.
    • What types of associations are evoked by the location? Is the setting archetypal?
    • What is the period of history depicted in the text? What words help establish this? What is the season of the year or the time of day.
    • What is the season of the year? Is the use of a season archetypal? [Ex. the use of spring to suggest hope, rebirth or youth etc.]
  2. Figurative language – Pick out the figurative language used. Identify the type and annotate its purpose and impact.
    • What words are emphasized by the sound devices? What concept could the words be associated with?
    • Are there metaphors, similes, personifications or other figurative language? How do they enrich the meaning of the poem?


  1. Imagery and motifs [patterns of repeated imagery] – Make notes on sensory language and image patterns used.
    • List any repeated words or ideas. Look for clusters of words associated with a concept.
    • Look for synonyms of words used [i.e. darkness, black, gray, shadows can constitute a pattern of “dark imagery.”]
    • Look for archetypes. Look for reference to the seasons or to nature or to colour . [ex. repeated reference to the colour white might suggest innocence or reference to dark might symbolize evil, and so on.] Look for archetypal life stages: birth, coming-of -age,
  2. Character – Make notes about the character[s] and narrator of the text. What abstract or symbolic ideas do they represent?
    • What do you learn about the narrator or speaker of the text? Look at the language used, the images chosen, the tone of voice used. Identify the specific words that create the What do you learn about the narrator’s attitude toward the subject?
    • Look at other characters or people mentioned in the poem. What is their relationship to the narrator and to each other? What traits do they exhibit?
  3. Structure – [Mostly done for poetry]
    • How is the text arranged on the page? Is the poem divided into stanzas? Is there a rhyme scheme that helps to organize the ideas into sections [eg. couplets, triplets, quatrains]. What is the central idea of each stanza? What ideas are emphasized by this arrangement?
    • What punctuation does the poet use, including dashes and spaces between words and lines? What unusual word order is used? Is there a clear pattern of repetitive words that signal separate sections of the text? Note what words or ideas are emphasized in this


Now that you have fully annotated the text, go back and look over your notes. Reflect on the following questions.

  • What ideas are repeated in more than one section of your analysis?
  • What atmosphere is created in the text and what emotional responses are evoked in the reader?
  • What ideas does the text convey? What sense of the writer’s views of society or of humanity is conveyed? What problem or triumph in human experience might the writer be exploring?

Finally, list some of the key topics or thematic ideas that might be present; don’t be afraid to make inferences [“read between the lines”]. From those ideas, craft the beginning of a theme statement. Your theme statement should explain the entire text and be able to be proved by referring to the notes you have made on the text. What is the author saying about these topics or ideas?

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