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used in The Great Gatsby

4 uses
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sad or miserable—and often lonely
  • About half way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes...
    p. 23.2
desolate = miserable (and providing no support for life)

(editor's note: In those days, cities created a lot ashes (i.e., what remains of things after they are burned up). In the novel, this area is where ashes were dumped. It symbolized the ugliness hidden from the view in nicer areas.)
  •   "Do they miss me?" she cried ecstatically."
      "The whole town is desolate."
    p. 9.8
  • desolate = miserable (sad and lonely)

    (editor's note: Nick responds to Daisy's question in an exaggerated or ironic manner.)
  • He broke off and began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers.
    p. 109.9
  • desolate = sad and lonely
  • 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 deep heat with a desolate cry.
    p. 115.0
desolate = in a miserable manner
There are no more uses of "desolate" in The Great Gatsby.

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