The Great Gatsby- Chapter 2

Aspects of Narrative in Chapter 2

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  • Created on: 05-01-11 15:35


Still chronological

Importance of the eyes- Dr T J Eckleburg as always going to be there- people have forgotten his presence- proleptic hint

Nick dives straight into the action- Tom's mistress- used as a distraction as Gatsby still not yet introduced- reader waiting for the moment

Ends with a mysterious scene in the lift- reader unsure how to interpret Nick's drunk behaviour- possibly sexual- possibly merely delirious

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Point of View

Still Nick's point of view

All speech attributed- Nick picking up on every action and emotion- questions his reliability- could be observant- could be exaggerating aspects

Nick views the party- until he drinks too much- memory potentially blurred- views relationships- judgemental on opinions of guests

Subjective- unknown situation for Nick- he is naive

Allows a lot of speech from other characters- set the scene- but his recording- want to back up his presentation of characters with their own words- but he might have changed them further

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The Valley of Ashes- reminder of the division in class- although ultimately, the rich are relying on the work of the poor- unfair society- potentially will not work

Wilson's garage- Myrtle stands out- of a higher ranks- wants a higher position in society- opinions on moral high ground- protagonists cannot understand position of the working class- money brings experience- destroys ignorance or builds it?

Apartment- neutral ground for everyone- belongs to Myrtle's sister- allowing reader to see true colours of characters- no need to hide- level playing field

Elevator- small, claustrophobic- trapped- secrets have no escape- covered by natural, normal conversation- allows Nick to get distracted, maybe with thoughts of Gatsby

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Wilson- weak character- ruled by his wife- hopeful eyes at seeing Tom- experiencing a hard life- naivety- messed around by those of higher status

Myrtle- large- like Tom- contrast to Wilson in looks and personality- but both aspiring for something- wants to follow American Dream- grasping Tom in the hope she'll reach it

Dog seller- resembles the Valley of Ashes- a small microcosm of the working class culture

Mr and Mrs McKee- high society couple- possibly another example of the woman in control- Nick already detests them- not suited for life he has chosen- already a foreshadowing

Boy in elevator- obvious dislike for people he must work for- resentment and corruption- seems he knows how world works better than the upper class people

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Differences in upper and lower classes- ironic role reversals- lower rely on upper to buy their goods and work- upper rely on lower to provide them with what they need

Society ideals- the inability of money to buy love- although a common thought- Gatsby believes in this establishment of thought- Nick must prove it wrong within first chapters

Fickle conversation topics- dresses and travelling- old money does not equal intelligence- although more valued- however most consider it better- including Nick- comment again on his reliability

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