The Great Gatsby- Chapter 1

Aspects of Narrative in Chapter 1

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  • Created by: H
  • Created on: 05-01-11 15:12

Structure

Beginning- references to Nick's past- primarily introduces him as narrator- then goes on to comment on Gatsby- potential order of importance?

Introduces Tom and Daisy- good and smooth lead on to first part of story- enunciates Nick as a natural story teller

Past to present- chronological

Initial meeting with Jordan- leaves that introduction until later- does not consider her important- although potentially the most vital thing in his life

Foreshadowing of tragedy to come- Daisy's distress- Tom's mistress- Gatsby's mysterious nature- sets the scene and initialises characters- first impressions are important

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Point of View

Primarily point of view of Nick- initial snobbery- moral high ground

Attempt to be objective- too many opinions already- judgemental- makes out it is an effort to be a storyteller- actually a natural response to events

Use of direct speech- interjected and attributed

Free speech- on topics Nick is not interested in- for example, Daisy's child and the bond business

Never lets conversation flow- unless only using it as a means of presenting reality- always reminds reader of his presence

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Setting

Beginning of Nick's life- and his story- in Mid West- moved East to West Egg- less fashionable of the two 'Eggs'- looking for prosperity- his shot at the American Dream

Contrast between his house and Gatsby's mansion

East Egg over the water- effort to reach it- reflects Gatsby's effort to get to that status- still can't quite reach the green light- Tom and Nick took different paths despite same education

Many references to countries abroad- France, Georgia- then places closer- New York, New Haven- still a different society- corruption of town- retreat and return

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Characterisation

Nick- confident about his past- desire to be seen as having old money- tries to make himself seen as important- family heritage- pride in his roots

No description of Gatsby- only his possessions- despite knowing him- writing with hindsight- chooses to build tension

Tom- brutal and powerful- what Nick is not- Nick possibly jealous or in admiration- tries to claim Tom has respect for him

Daisy- opposite to Tom- gentle- but strong- flirty- voice important as determines her status- quick change in moods- implies same may be said for novel as she is key character

Jordan- impact on Nick- omniscient extra- is always there- disturbing peace- adding a witness

All from Nick's perspective- describing them with hindsight

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Destinations

Setting the scene- with regards to wealth- old and new money- the rivalry between status

Setting friendships- foreshadowing of possible breakdowns in relationships- possible tragedies- American Dream as not providing love

Nick as a subjective narrator- use of speech and tone- engaging the reader- issuing caution in narrative

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