Marked A-grade essay - Ch 6 Great Gatsby

How does Fitzgerald tell the story in Chapter 6 of The Great Gatsby? 

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  • Created on: 12-04-14 18:30
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How does Fitzgerald tell the story in Chapter 6?
In chapter six, tensions rise in the Tom, Daisy, Gatsby love triangle that were brewing in
the previous chapters as Gatsby hosts another illustrious party. We learn more about
Gatsby's childhood and where his lust for wealth has stemmed from, whilst also
witnessing Gatsby reminisce on the past, when him and Daisy were seemingly in love.
Chapter six is told in chronological order, but is framed by the reflections of the
narrator and also features a flashback towards the end by Gatsby. Fitzgerald introduces
the reader to the `real' Gatsby through the modified first person narrator Nick Carraway,
"James Gatz ­ that was really, or at least legally, his name" Here, the audience sees how
Gatsby has transformed him into his "Platonic conception of himself" which illustrates
how Gatsby's lust for wealth has been present since he was seventeen. Fitzgerald
structures the novel in this way so it allows the audience to understand why Gatsby
strives to have such vast material wealth, and so they can form their own opinions of him
before the novel reaches its climax in chapter seven. Additionally, Fitzgerald includes a
flashback of Gatsby reminiscing on a memory of him and Daisy. The narrator tells in third
person of how Gatsby "kissed her [Daisy]" which is significant to the story as it shows
how Gatsby believes he can achieve this dream. By structuring this flashback at the end
of the chapter, it perhaps foreshadows the eventual climax in chapter seven when there
is a confrontation between this love triangle.
Although a large amount of the chapter is spoken through dialogue, Fitzgerald
uses language (through Carraway) in a technically fluent style with an educated and
poetic prose running throughout the novel. This is used heavily such as when Carraway
describes the morning: "an indefinite procession of shadows, that rouged and powdered
in an invisible glass". His educated mannerisms contribute towards a flowing pattern of
speech which is present not only in this chapter, but throughout the book. Fitzgerald uses
this language to give the audience descriptive detail on events, however this descriptive
detail may be used to cover up for the fact that our narrator might be unreliable and so
not know as much about the events as it seems.
Furthermore, Fitzgerald presents the case of an unreliable narrator at the start of
the chapter, which could lead to the audience questioning the stories in which Carraway
tells. Through the technique of narrative voice, Fitzgarald states through Carraway that
"He told me all this very much later" when talking about Gatsby's past. This may suggest
that Nick relies on his memory to tell complex stories which could affect how the reader
forms their opinion on Gatsby. However, at the start of the novel, Carraway claims he is
"One of the few honest men I know" which could have been used by Fitzgerald to make
the reader trust all which Carraway says.
The setting of this chapter is predominantly in Gatsby's house and it takes place
all within the same day. Gatsby's mansion could be seen as an elaborate prop used to
catch Daisy's attention throughout the novel and this remains true in chapter six.
Fitzgerald uses little description of the setting Nick describes "arriving at twilight" which
is a reoccurring time of Gatsby's parties. This may foreshadow tension and mystery as in
previous chapters events such as meeting Gatsby have happened at twilight and in the
next chapter Myrtle's death takes place during twilight.


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