The great Gatsby exam notes

Hopefully these notes will help you with the exam, the other two books these are to be compared to are Captain Corellis mandolin and Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy :)

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  • Created on: 22-12-15 21:59
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Narrative structure :
Captain Corellis
The Great Gatsby
Framed Narrative with Nick as the narrative outer frame, and spatio-temperol
structure (time and location) highlight content of novel. Temporal Narrative follows
seasonal cycle in time sequence but adjusts speed and order of particular time, so
non-linear development of story. Spatial arrangement , contrast between East and
West Eggs, New York and foul dust , highlight beyond geographic sense metaphors,
highlighting theme of novel..
After war of independence America emancipated from Eastern Colony, in terms of
politics from Britain and culture and ideology. Culture extended to Middle Western,
western culture attracted dream chasing exploits like American Dream, as there was
more chances and free space, so east and West contrast also symbolic of cultural
differences not just geographical. In The Great Gatsby, Nike's experience from West
to East then back to West is not so much the changes in space as the seeking for the
source of spirit and culture.
Nick from Wealthy family of the West, families prosperity linked to development of
the West, calls it `the warm centre of the world', but after Great War wants to escape,
at the same time East has finished industrial Revolution so property in East offers
Nick hope. However witnessing tragedy of Gatsby makes him feel sorry about
nation's civilisation and moves to west. Recurrence of place and action forms the
spatial lock- can't break out.
East and West conflict extends to East and west egg, metaphors made to highlight
East and dissimilarity in every particular shape and size'.
Tom and Daisy from West Egg born in rich and powerful families and social status:
bourgeoisie whereas Gatsby on west egg born in humble family but cherishes dreams
and longs for success.
Temporal symbol of green light shows Gatsby's character. Highlights dysfunctional
relationships, unequal love.
Nick sees Gatsby stare at Green light `he stretched out his arms toward the dark water
in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling.
Involuntarily, I glanced seaward--and distinguished nothing except a single green
light, minute and faraway, that might have been the end of a dock." (Fitzgerald
Green light means dream and hope to Gatsby, which he adheres to, to pursue and
seek hard American Dream, of which Daisy is the component. The green light is of
puzzled, dangerous and destructive nature, when Gatsby approaches, he also nears
destruction and death. Symbolic and Ironic meaning in end, `Gatsby believed in the
green light, the orgastic future that year by year reached before us. It eluded to us
then , but that's no matter- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther-(

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And one fine morning boats against the current borne back ceaselessly into the past )
Symbolic temporal location also New York and Foul Dust. New York centre of
modern civilisation, but between centre and West Egg, is desolate `the valley of
ashes'. This is the place that "where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and
grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising
smoke" (Fitzgerald 1982:30).…read more

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Gatsby, which establish a comparison with flashy live of Gatsby
throughout his lifetime. Hence his position as an external narrator elucidates the
isolation of Gatsby and how unequal his love is with Daisy.
Narrative Time
Non linear development of storyline
Links to spatio temporal structure
Linear development distorted due to contrast between sequence of story and in the
narrative words. Here are things about Gatsby in the story:
A. Gatsby' boyhood (in chapter 8);
B.…read more

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A. Gatsby' boyhood (in chapter 8);
Order dis0rganises time sequence of narration, making the structure of the fiction have an
internal tension
Use of analepsis constitutes novel , highlights how the past plays an important role in
the structure of relationships , based on the idea of what `was' there , so highlights
disillusionment , idealism. Analepsis also highlight spatio- temporal imprisonment
as narrative based primarily on past love of Daisy and Gatsby. Hence relationship
challenges conventions and breaks with tradition.…read more

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Autumn `stage of hero's comedown and dying process' (Wu zhizhe 1997:90), decay ,
decline of tragic hero. ( hamartia is pursuit for Daisy).
When the author arranges Nike and Gatsby's farewell, he mentions of
Gatsby--"disappeared among the yellowing trees" (Fitzgerald 1982:216), then Gatsby
is killed in his pool, above him "the touch of a cluster of leaves revolved it slowly,
tracing, like the leg of transit, a thin red circle in the water" (Fitzgerald 1982:217).
Finally, Nike goes back to West.…read more

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Fragmented and non linear device highlights more difficult truths that a more realistic
book won't capture such as the extent of Gatsby's love, which is romanticised.
Narrative Voice
Use of polysyllabic, advanced, intelligent lexis shows Nick belongs to an
educated a high class background which juxtaposes him to Gatsby who
comes from a more low class background of farmers in the Midwest.
Some reported speech and a more omniscientsounding voice which reflects
Nick's mediation of Gatsby's narrative. Authorial intrusion.…read more

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Gatsby turned out all right in the end." (7)
"An elegant young rough neck." (53)
"I suspected he was pulling my leg." (70)
"He was running down like an overwound clock." (97)
"You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." (162)
"I disapproved of him from beginning to end'
This unreliability can be linked to relationships as it highlights the theme of
dysfunctional relationships, Nick as a narrator cannot create a stable relationship
with these characters due to the nature of his judgements.…read more

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And Cleary told himself that he didn't care, but picked up the paper anyway.) So point of
view shifts from first person narration to the omniscience.…read more

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Reveals Tom's infidelity and reveals Tom and Daisy relationship nature. She is silent despite
internal despondency but does not leave him due to love for materialism. He treats her as a
possession and `trophy wife'
`We heard that you were engaged' `it's a libel. I'm too poor'. ( Chap 1 )
Shows that Nick faced a difficult relationship, he was with a woman he didn't marry. Also
alludes to his homosexuality.…read more

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T.J Eckleburg's faded eyes came into sight down the road' (motif chap7)
`The pretentious chords of Mendelssohn's wedding March..below'
` I know I didn't care' (chap 8 )
`You said a bad drive was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met
another bad driver, didn't I?' (chap 9)
` he threw dust into your eyes just like he did in Daisy's' (chap 9)
`They were careless people, Tom and Daisy'(chap 9 )
"Nevertheless you did throw me over," said Jordan suddenly.…read more


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