Section A: Question 1a (The Great Gatsby)

Just a quick reminder of the main key points to mention in question 1a tomorrow for The Great Gatsby. It concerns how Fitzgerald tells the story in certain chapters, the points you should focus on are: Narrative voice, Characterisationa and Scenes and Places.

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Chapter 3 narrative voice

Fitzgerald also uses the scenic method of the narration at Gatsby's party. Excess, excitement yet abundance. They made a:

"There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights"/"The party has begun" - creates immediacy, shift from past to historic present. (pg 45 + 47)

"Christmas tree out of Gatsby's house" - reserving judgements?? NOPE. Suggests Gatsby is cheap and artificial. (could use as characterisation of G) (pg 45)

"and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music" - synesthesia and colour imagery. (pg 46)

 At the end of the chapter Nick feels that reading over what he had "written so far..." He feels that he had given the impression that "the events of three nights several weeks apart were all that absorbed" him. He's given an incorrect impression. Here he is an intrusive narrator. (pg 62-66)

"I am one of the few honest people I have ever known" - unreliable

Also it is significant that Nick wears a white suit in this chapter, which presents his NAIVITY.

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Chapter 3 narrative voice (another opinion)


Nick interrupts with a moment of self-absorption, speaks about what he has written so far.  Makes it seem much more like a diary than a novel, enhancing common opinion that Nick is an 'unreliable narrator'.  Speaks of what HE was doing at the time. Speaks of himself entirely until the end of the novel.  Egotistical, annoying, disrupts from the flow of the novel.  Could discuss different forms of novel from dreamy section during party to back to the "hard graft", with general working and boredom of real life.

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Chapter 3 characterisation part 1

Gatsby- mystery:

"he doesn't want any trouble with anybody" (pg 49)

"Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once" (pg 50)

"I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany" (pg 50)

Owl eyes also plays a part in characterising Gatsby:

"Absoloutley real - have pages and everything. I thought they'd be a nice durable cardboard, they're abosoloutely real. Pages and - Here! Lemme show you!"

This brings about the idea of Gatsby being artificial. And does not 'fit' in with this particular rank in society.

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Chapter 3 characterisation part 2

Ant-climax to meeting Gatsby. There was a brilliant climax to meeting gatsby with speculations about him killing a man. However Fitzgerald deliberately uses an anti-climax to create irony with the title:

"This is an unusual party for me. I haven't even seen the host..."  

For a moment he looked at me as if he failed to understand.

"I'm Gatsby," he said suddenly.'(pg 54)

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Chapter 3 scenes and places

Gatsby's guests conducted themselves:

 "The last swimmers have come in"

"according to the rules of behaviour associated with an amusement park"

"Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came with a  simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission."

(all pg 46-47)

The car accident at the end of the chapter:

"But as I walked down the steps I saw that the evening was not quite over. Fifty feet from the door a dozen headlights illuminated a bizarre and tumultuous scene. In the   ditch beside teh road, right side up, but violently shorn of one wheel, rested a new   coupe which had left Gatsby's drive not two minutes before." (pg 60)

This scene directly foreshadows later events (DONT MENTION IN FULL DETAIL AS MARKS WILL NOT BE AWARDED BECAUSE THE QUESTION DOES NOT RELATE TO CHAPTER 7- quick point!!) Represents the recklessness caused by society. 

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Chapter 4 narrative voice part 1

The middle/end chapter is concerned with the reconstruction of past events and how the point of view of the teller modifies/changes the nature of the account. See different points of view from; Jordan, Wolfsheim and Myrtle.


"Hes an Oggsford man" - again reiterating Gatsby's past. 


"One October day in nineteen seventeen - (said Jordan Baker..)"- account about Gatsby and Daisy's past.


"Straining at the garage pump with a panting vitality as we went by" - The reference to Myrtle in this chapter relocates her ‘vitality’, it is significant because it foreshadows and is also cinematic. 

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Chapter 4 narrative voice part 2

Other things to mention:
The ambivalence Nick shows towards Gatsby:

"I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter" 

"Then it was all true"

Nick and Jordan sharing a kiss, Nicks idealisation of a woman contrasts directly with Gatsby's idealisation of Daisy: (vague point, be careful!)

Daisy: "she was two years older than me, and by far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville. She dressed in white..."

Jordan: "and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my face." 

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Chapter 4 characterisation

Early on: "I don't want you to get a wrong idea of me from all these stories you hear" - Gatsby goes on to tell the story of his past which suggests that Gatsby is lying and further adds to the mystery surrounding him:

"swallowed it, or choked", "he looked at me sideways" and "his whole statement fell to pieces"

The scenic method of the luncheon with Wolfsheim: Mr Wolfshiem represents the criminal world, He seems open about it in contrast to Gatsby’s secrecy, page 76:

“His expressive nose” “Let the bastards come in here…” “Fine specimens of human molars”

(pg 70) "restlessness" "always a tapping foot". "to my dissapointment, that he had little to say. So my first impression, that he was some person of some undefined consequence, had gradually faded and he became simply the proprietor of an elaborate road-house next door" - anti -climatic again, Fitzgerald uses Nick to get the reader to define Gatsby's greatness. 

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Chapter 4 scenes and places

Lunch with Meyer Wolfsheim raises questions about Gatsbys integrity. 

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Chapter 6 narrative voice part 1

Nick breaks the chronological order of the chapter as seen in others before and after this one. Fitzgerald uses Nick to 'dispel' any rumours speculated:

"So I take advantage of this short hault, while Gatsby so to speak caught his breath, to clear this set of misconceptions away"

It is important to Nick that Gatsby is portrayed in the way he see's him. HOWEVER because Nick is both "within and without" making him seem more reliable, but more importantly enables the reader to judge for themselves the characters that they are faced with. This is the way in which we develop our own understanding of the different characters through the analysis of their behaviour.

Gatsby's embedded narrative portrays more of the story behind his love for Daisy: 

"gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder. His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy's white face came up to his own."

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Chapter 6 narrative voice part 2

It is worth noting that Fitzgerald never shows the reader a single scene from Gatsby’s affair with Daisy. The narrative is Nick’s story, and, aside from when they remake each other’s acquaintance, Nick never sees Gatsby and Daisy alone together. Perhaps Nick’s friendship with Gatsby allows him to empathize with his pain at not having Daisy, and that Nick refrains from depicting their affair out of a desire not to malign him. Whatever the reason, Fitzgerald leaves the details of their affair to the reader’s imagination, and instead exposes the menacing suspicion and mistrust on Tom’s part that will eventually lead to a confrontation.

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Chapter 6 characterisation

Gatsbys transformation.

There is no mistaking Gatsby's personality: He's like an errant knight, seeking to capture the illusive grail. He is living in the past, something the reader may not have known, had he not realized his dream of reuniting with Daisy. Although it would be going too far to say Gatsby is weak in character, Fitzgerald creates a protagonist who is unable to function in the present. He must continually return to the past, revising it and modifying it until it takes on epic qualities which, sadly, can never be realized in the everyday world. Gatsby, just as he is at his parties and with the social elite, is once again marginalized, forced to the fringes by the vivacity of his dream.

CONTRAST between Tom and Gatsby when he drops in. Highlights Gatsbys position in society, suggesting the story cannot end well as Daisy is 'old money'.

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Chapter 6 scenes and places

This party in contrast with the others before. (mention briefly the other chapters!!)

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