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Great Gatsby - Essay 5

  • Date Submitted: 02/02/2011 11:36 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53 
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The Great Gatsby

Choose a novel or short story in which the writer’s method of narration (such as first person narrative, diary from, journal...) plays a significant part.   Explain briefly the method of narration and then discuss its importance to your appreciation of the text.

“The Great Gatsby”, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a fascinating and compelling story of a man who strives for the American Dream, never giving up.   The man, Jay Gatsby, is a rich and extravagant gentleman who owns everything he wants but does not have everything he desires.   He lusts after his lost love Daisy Buchanan and tries to relive his past with her.   The story is narrated by Nick Carraway.   Nick’s perceptions regarding characters and events in the novel have an effect on the reader’s appreciation of the text.

The style of the narration is in first-person narrative.   During Nick Carraway’s introduction, he sets himself up to be a reliable, trustworthy narrator by suggesting he does not judge people “I’m inclined to reserve all judgments”.   However, he casts doubt over his credibility later in the introduction by claiming that basically that some people are boring “usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions”.   By using a first-person narrative, the readers are only told one side of the story through Nick’s eyes.   This encourages the reader to believe Nick and his views as this is the only one they get.   Fitzgerald also makes the reader doubt Nick’s views as he tends to sway between two sides throughout.

Jay Gatsby is seen as an admirable man at the beginning of the novel due to Nick’s perception of him as the only one who “was exempt from my reaction”.   We are given no details about Gatsby other than Nick’s feelings towards him.   This influences the reader’s reaction towards Gatsby as they have no other insight to Gatsby’s life.   Given the positive feelings towards him and the mystery surrounding his background at this moment in the novel a sense of wonder...

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