From tower to cellar

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benjaminbosquier

Senior Member
français - France
I'd like to know if, in the following excerpt from the chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the phrase "from tower to cellar" is just an idiomatic expression meaning "from top to bottom" or if the words "tower" and "cellar" are used in their proper senses.

When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire. Two o’clock and the whole corner of the peninsula was blazing with light which fell unreal on the shrubbery and made thin elongating glints upon the roadside wires. Turning a corner I saw that it was Gatsby’s house, lit from tower to cellar.

Thank you.
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Authors frequently create their own expressions for imagery, rather than relying on clichés or hackneyed phrases.

    (Good authors are creative, after all)

    Fitzgerald appears to have done it nicely here, although it might exist elsewhere.
     
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