"... where there was no light save what the gleaming floor bounced in from the hall."
Today's sentence, in the Gatsby project, where we read one sentence from "The Great Gatsby" each day.
What jumps out — bounces out — at me here is the dual light action: the lighting of the cigarette and the light bouncing in from the hall. The sources of light: 1. a trembling match, and 2. a gleaming floor. Both light sources go with -ing words. The light that has to do with a person doing something is trembling, and the light whose action has no human agent gleams and bounces. There's a big contrast between the emotional content of the 2 lights, the one — trembling — in the dark, in the intimate relationship between the man's hand and the woman's mouth, and the other — bouncing — off the floor from a shiny, bright place.
I've called attention to the light action that is human and that is not, but in this... light!, it's important to see what is not said. We don't get "trembling hand." We get "trembling match." The man is there in the "He" — "He lit" — but there's something cagey or removed about saying it's the match that's trembling. A trembling hand is only implied. That makes the lights more inanimate, but it also heightens the picture of light. We see the burning match, not the hand. And that puts the man-woman intimacy more deeply in the dark. They get as deep into the dark room and away from the light as they can. Good reason to tremble.