Study on Stylistic Effects of Three-Word Clusters in The Great Gatsby from the Perspective of Corpus Stylistics

Qiyu Sun


This paper examines high-frequency three-word clusters and their stylistic effects in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby through the analysis of the five types of clusters by means of corpus, providing a new perspective for the appreciation of the masterpiece The Great Gatsby. According to the analysis, we found that (i) Labels take up too small a percentage to reveal certain stylistic features in this novel. (ii) Speech clusters, occupying the largest percentage, are used to show characters’ mental process and indicate interactions between the narrator and readers. Large amount of negation elements attached to clusters in this group help to deepen the tragic themes, i.e. the failure of American dreams. (iii) As If X clusters serve to portray characters in an objective way and disclose Gatsby’s distorted inner world. (iv) Body Part clusters demonstrate Nick’s inclination to observe others, which enhances the credibility of his narration. (v) Time clusters denoting short time span contribute to the compact storyline. The results demonstrated that high-frequency three-word clusters are of great significance to the interpretation of The Great Gatsby, which provides a new perspective to the analysis of literary works.


The Great Gatsby, Corpus Stylistics, Three-word Clusters, Stylistic Effects

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