Great Gatsby - Chapters 1 and 2

Aspects of narrative, first two chapters, AQA

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  • Created on: 12-05-12 13:36
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GREAT GATSBY ­ CHAPTER ONE
Uses of chapter 1;
o Gains reader's interest in novel.
o Introduces Nick Carraway as first person narrator.
o Reader learns narrator is an active character in plot line
(doesn't know all facts ­ "you mean to say you don't know").
Nick is an observant narrator ­ more realistic.
Nick's judgements of other characters clearly shown.
o When meeting Tom Buchanan, Nick describes him as "savours
of anti-climax" ­ disguising his envy for Tom's success.
Shows Nick's a real character ­ active, still has
feelings/emotions.
Light imagery used to give mood/tension/atmosphere.
o Time of day often mentioned "the sunset", "the last sunshine"
­ helps to indicate the plot (e.g. "the last sunshine" was falling
on Daisy's "glowing face" ­ last time she can be seen without
conviction from Nick.)
o Daisy "snapped (the candles) out with her fingers" suggests
Daisy is the one who has ruined her own happiness with her
choices.
GREAT GATSBY ­ CHAPTER TWO
Uses of chapter 2;
o Foreshadows later events Myrtle; "You can't live forever".
o Shows Nick's unreliability ­ descriptions of other characters.
Tragic element seen ­ broken/unhappy marriages.
o Buchanan's ­ Tom's affair, Tom as violent character, breaking
Myrtle's nose with a "short deft movement".
o Myrtle not in love with her husband "I was never...crazy about
him!"
o "Valley of Ashes" ­ links to T.S. Elliot's `The Waste Land' ­
consumerist values in modern society.
Crisis unfolds towards the end of the chapter ­ Tom breaks Myrtles
nose ­ implies Tom is a villainous character ­ develops sympathy
between Daisy and Gatsby's relationship in the future.
At the end of the chapter, Nick's narration becomes confusing to
read. One minute he "was standing beside his bed and he was
sitting up... clad in his underwear" then he "was lying half asleep" in
the "Pennsylvania station"
o Shows how in this section, Nick Narration cannot be trusted.

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