how does Fitzgerald tell the story

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`How does Fitzgerald tell the story?' questions
Chapter 1
The novel takes the form of a 20th century romantic tragedy, this is revealed by contextual means. In
chapter 1 Fitzgerald highlights the tragic form of the novel as Nick says `what foul dust that floated in
the wake of his dreams'. this creates the effect of foreshadow the tragic events of the novel
especially as the writer uses the past tense to refer to the eponymous character which creates
tension as the impression is given the narrator of the novel knows the outcome of the character but
does not disclose information. The line `Gatsby turned out alright at the end' creates an atmosphere
of mystery and this is not dissipated by Nick which creates excitement as the reader expects the
novel will supply answers.
Form- The novel takes the form of a metafiction narrative as the narrator is aware he is writing a
novel. This is shown throughout the novel and is shown in chapter 1 says `only Gatsby the man who
gave his name to this book' showing that Nick is aware he is writing a novel which may create the
effect of showing that Nick controls how the events of the story are told and so may not be an
objective narrator as his opinion could have been blurred by the narrator's opinion of the events.
Characterisation- In chapter 1 we are introduced to many of the novel's central characters. The first
character we are introduced to is the novel's first person intradigetic, retrospective narrator, Nick.
Nick is first characterised as a trustworthy narrator as he says he is `inclined to reserve all
judgements' however the reader has to quickly judge whether this is true as Nick says Gatsby
`represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn' this signals to the reader that Nick
may not be a reliable narrator as the reader will have to piece together some of the narrative for
themselves as Nick may be biased towards his representation of certain characters. Nick immediately
invites the reader to `know' him immediately after his introduction he gives intimate details of his
`more vulnerable years' which leads the reader to trust nick as he appears to be open and honest.
Nick's elevated prose style using complex lexis and sentences such as `most of these confidences
unsought, frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation or a hostile levity when I realized by some
unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon' this indicates to the
reader that Nick is an objective narrator for recalling the events of the novel.
Daisy is primarily characterised by her voice in chapter 1. Her voice is described as `low' and `thrilling'
and a `murmur' which is rumoured to make `people lean towards her'. This associates Daisy as having
a siren like quality and as being alluring however Daisy mainly speaks in simple sentences with
childlike vocabulary `what do people plan?' showing her innocence and naivety. Daisy is also
characterised as being angelic, she is described as being dressed up in `white' a colour associated
with purity and is described with Jordan as `if they had been blown back in after a short flight around
the house' also reinforcing her status as an angelic and ethereal being. However Daisy is also
characterised as being someone who can be easily manipulated by her husband. Daisy is described as
being `buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon' however as tom enters Daisy `ballooned
slowly to the floor' suggests toms control over her. Tom is characterised as being domineering as he
is already been described as `turning' Nick `around by one arm' as if he was a chess piece suggesting
his power and dominant nature. Fitzgerald also characterises tom as tough and harsh, he is described
as having `two shining arrogant eyes' and `a hard mouth' which could have been used to represent
his hard, tough and arrogant character. However the reader knows that this is Nick's view and his
view of the character may have been altered by the events of the novel as it is written

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Nick imitates what he believes to be tom's voice he says `he seemed to say `just
because I'm stronger and more of a man than you' `suggesting nick's contempt for Tom, this leads
the reader to view tom as a possible antagonist as the reader has already been invited to trust Nick.
The main settings of the novel are introduction in the first chapter and the settings used are often
used as symbolic for larger ideas.…read more

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David Belasco who was famed for having very realistic props in his stage shows, Gatsby is
no more than a stage show who is using his house as a prop to disguise is real personality. Owl eyes is
characterised as someone who is wise as owls have connotations of wisdom but also someone who
has moral vision as he wears glasses which may suggest that he can see through people morally.…read more

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In chapter 4 Fitzgerald also uses the first narrative perspective of Jordan who uses diegesis to reveal
Gatsby's story to us. Jordan's less literary and less complex and more straightforward writing style
contrasts with the mimetic style of Nick's description of his lunch in New-York with Gatsby and this
helps to provide variety to the chapter and creates interest as it provided a different perspective
and voice to the narrative telling.…read more

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Also the fact that Tom is in a basement illegal drinking speakeasy which is associated
with gang members such as wolfshiem shows his corrupted personality and later characterises him
as a hypocrite in chapter 7 as he later condemns Gatsby for being a `bootlegger even though Tom is
complicit with the illegal activities as he drinks alcohol.…read more

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The story of the chapter is told from Nick's first person homodiegetic perspective. This positions the
reader alongside Nick as he witnesses the difficult and tense reunion between Gatsby and Daisy.
Fitzgerald only uses the voice and point and view of Nick to tell the story in chapter 7 however there
are gaps in the narrative such as when Nick leaves the couple to talk and does a `circuit of the house'.…read more

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However Fitzgerald presents Nick's morality as
inconsistent. In chapter 1 Nick explains that his tolerance has a limit however in the chapter Fitzgerald
also characterises Nick as having a limit to his morality. Nick's feelings of disgust for the hedonistic
behaviour of the east have been overturned by his fascination with it.…read more

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Sloane's. Fitzgerald uses Gatsby's memories to start and end the
chapter with an account of Gatsby's life with Dan Cody and Gatsby's first kiss with Daisy.
Chapter 6 of the novel takes the form of a twentieth century romantic tragedy. Fitzgerald's use of
Nick as a retrospective, involved homodiegetic first person narrator allows for a developed opinion
of the plot as well enabling Nick's character to divulge information to the reader in a proleptic
manner.…read more


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