Home » Posts tagged 'Great Gatsby'
Tag Archives: Great Gatsby
By Felicity Keyzer-Pollard and Lina Zhang, V Form
Gender Inequality and Unreliable Narration: Two Paragraphs on The Great Gatsby
The Inherent Unreliability of Nick Carraway
By Felicity Keyzer-Pollard
Whether intentional or not, Nick Carraway’s first-person narration of The Great Gatsby dictates every aspect of the novel leading to an innate unreliability. Initially, Fitzgerald attempts to present Nick to the reader as a reliable narrator by highlighting his belief in “reserving judgments,” and letting the reader feel as if Nick is a voice of reason in a convoluted society (2). Nevertheless, it is vital to recognize that even reliable narrators can distort the very core of a novel. This distortion becomes apparent as Nick presents Jay Gatsby, the novel’s eponymous character. Initially, he describes Gatsby as nearly god-like by chronicling his persona by the “whispers about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world” (Fitzgerald 44). This verbiage around Gatsby sets up the larger-than-life persona of him that the majority of characters believe to be true. However, this narration is not entirely authentic. Nick narrates The Great Gatsby from a future perspective, meaning he already knew the truth about Gatsby. While Nick attempts to remain impartial when explaining how James Gatz became the infamous Jay Gatsby, he already acknowledges that “Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself” (Fitzgerald 98). His decision to withhold this information, whether intentional or not, misleads the reader. This choice means that when Nick tells Gatsby he “can’t repeat the past,” he is highlighting one of the critical flaws in his own narration (Fitzgerald 110). Nick is telling this story in an attempt to recount the past. However, in Nick’s own words, he is unable to accomplish this. The narration style that Fitzgerald chodse cast Nick into the role of an unreliable narrator regardless of intention. Consequently, the inherent unreliability of Nick Carraway’s narration fundamentally shapes the reader’s understanding of The Great Gatsby.(more…)
By Aditya Mynampaty, V Form
Fitzgerald Deviates from Manichaean Plots with Gatsby
Editors’ Note: In Mr. Eslick’s American Literature class, the students write paragraphs of 300 words or less at the end of each week. The aim is to work toward a thesis for a full essay.
The Great Gatsby lacks a protagonist and an antagonist: an unusual trait for a book. F. Scott Fitzgerald deviates from the standard, Manichaean plots found in most novels to demonstrate the absence of any pure good or evil people in America. The closest character The Great Gatsby has to a protagonist is the narrator, Nick, but no character in the novel is villainized or pitted against him. Fitzgerald creates characters like Gatsby, who collaborates with gamblers and match-fixers, Tom, who cheats on his wife, and Daisy, who runs over and kills a woman. Nick, however, never speaks ill of these flawed people. His unbiased narration style makes it hard to form strong feelings for characters and difficult to root for or against anyone. Even though Gatsby is the epitome of the American Dream, having worked his way to wealth from nothing, Nick never praises him. By preventing his audience from forming opinions about the characters, Fitzgerald communicates the large gray area in American personalities. There are not any virtuous or immoral people; there are Americans. (more…)
By Eric Zhang, V Form
(Editors’ Note: In Ms. Matthews’ American Literature class, this assignment prompted students to create a 10th chapter of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, utilizing Nick Caraway’s melancholic tone and including some type of closure for the characters)
It had been five years since the funeral, and I finally returned to this city that I once thought was haunted. Everything was so depressing. There were no sounds of the orchestra playing or shimmering sights of the girls wearing fancy dresses with decorations on their shoes. The city of New York had changed since that October in 1929, what was later called Black October. I wandered the streets of New York, and ultimately, I was pulled back to the Eggs and Gatsby’s mansion. What was once a (more…)