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"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

Do you discern this phrase just as things grow in fast movies an adjectival phrase modifying a noun phrase the great bursts of leavings growing on the trees?

And in And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees I may not seem sure what to select. And seems a conjunction, so, adverb, and with, preposition. Do you discern And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees a prepositional phrase functioning like an adverb, describing maybe when this maybe individual had a familiar conviction?

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    I don't read the first clause as adjectival to the second. I read it as 2 different things happening at the same time, though it is quite complex to me as a native reader . I would paraphrase it as: "When sunshine and lots of leaves appear on trees (at a speed only found in movies), I know that summer had come and with its arrival, I felt my life restarting." – Michael Dorgan Jun 16 '15 at 21:27
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I think the reference is to time-lapse films.

I understand "just as things grow in fast movies" to be an adverbial clause modifying "growing". Those leaves grow quickly--in exactly the same way that things grow with accelerated speed in time-lapse films.

  • So maybe just as things grow in fast movies an adverbial clause modifying growing. I guess phrases frequently modify mostly one word? – saySay Jun 17 '15 at 18:57
  • I'm not sure what you mean by "frequently....mostly". But an adverbial phrase can modify a verb phrase. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 17 '15 at 19:09
  • The main thrust of my reply is that the phrase in question is not a temporal phrase. describing maybe *when* this maybe individual had a familiar conviction "Just as" there does not mean "coincident with" but "in the same manner as". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 17 '15 at 19:12
  • @saySay: When a sentence begins with "And" or "But" you should really include the previous sentence as part of the context when you quote the passage.. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 17 '15 at 21:16
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I would understand the sentence in this way:

What with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on trees, just as things grow in fast movies,

I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

The main clause begins with "I had that familiar conviction ...". "With the sunshine etc" is an adverbial clause of cause, "just as ... in fast movies" a simile illustrating the bursts of leaves and their fast growing.

I would prefer a comma after "And so" and I would see this use of "with" as a kind of absolute ablative though the participle is lacking. One might complement and change a bit

"with the sunshine (being) bright and the leaves growing fast on the trees".

  • Absolute ablative seems interesting. I think I frequently looked at absolutes. It seems in absolute ablatives here and there they maybe contain a first word like a conjunction(?) like Since everything was prepared, the family departed for the city? I guess I may think upon And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees like an adverbial clause, something that took place and he maybe got thoughts upon that conviction. I think an adverbial clause seems to modify a verb, an adjective, or adverb, so I guess maybe it modifies had like on maybe how. – saySay Jun 17 '15 at 19:05

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