The Great Gatsby, Chapter 6

How does Fitzgerald tell the story in chapter 6?

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  • Created by: Daisy
  • Created on: 29-04-12 16:26

Structure/Destination

  • Starts and ends in the past, framing the chapter and showing how Gatsby is trapped there and is longing to 'repeat' it. 
  • His past is given now by Nick which establishes a close bond between him and Gatsby, but also highlights his unreliability.

Beginning - Gatsby's past

  • Dispels all rumours we've had about him before
  • His past realigns our sympathies for the horrific events to come
  • Shows his rise  - representative of the American Dream

Destination

  • Echoes the kiss of the 'movie-star and her director' before, as she has a higher status than him and Daisy is higher than Gatsby
  • The 'moment' that the end of chapter 5 was leading up to - the climax in Daisy and Gatsby's relationship.
  • Ends ambigously as Nick obscures it, detaching it from reality
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Point of view/Voice

Narrator

  • Nick romanticises and idealises Gatsby's past, creating him as a LEGEND as he is likened to the 'son of God'.
  • He confirms that Jay Gatsby is from James Gatz's imagination

Destination

  • Nick's voice alters at the end; he feels he can talk for Gatsby
  • Last paragraph: authorial intrusion by Fitzgerald, makes us question the validity of the novel as a whole

Daisy

  • Her voice was 'playing murmourous tricks in her throat', characterising her as flirtatious and manipulative, cultivating society around her but remaining to stay elevated and rich
  • Her voice is linked to music, likening her to part of the Jazz Age, but in abstract terms
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Representation

Women

  • 'some authentically radiant girl...one moment of magical encounter' - sums up the novel's quest for women who are unique and rare, and reinforcing Gatsby's new found snobbishness as Jay Gatsby from him being 'contemptuous' of most girls
  • Traditional view of 'women run around too much these days' from Tom, contrasting the "New Woman" and the changes that were happening in the 1920s.

Movie-star and her director

  • Represent Gatsby and his quest for the 'ultimate degree': Daisy
  • Movie star called 'his Star', echoed later by Daisy being called 'a star'

Destination

  • Gatsby represents immortality and we now comprehend he is outside our understanding
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Characterisation

Tom

  • Sexist - 'women run around too much'
  • His presence 'lent the evening its particular quality of oppressiveness'
  • Called 'polo player' by Gatsby: offends him as it connotes he has to work 

Daisy

  • Objectified/idealised at the end
  • The 'kiss' by the 'moving-picture star and her director' offends her as she had to hide her real emotions
  • Aspires to be something higher

Gatsby

  • Placed above hedonism as he 'drank so little'
  • 'Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!' - encapsulates him as a character, emphasises his reliance on something tangible, sums him up before his death
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