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How Does F. Scott Fitzgerald Tell The Story Of The Great Gatsby At The End Of Chapter 3?

938 words - 4 pages

Write about some of the ways that Fitzgerald tells the story at the end of Chapter 3

Fitzgerald tells the story through Nick Carraway, the narrator and a character in The Great Gatsby. His use of literary techniques involves the reader effectively and tells a story so finely that it is arguably one of the best-written novels of the 20th century. At the end of Chapter 3, Fitzgerald reveals further general context about Nick: our intra-fictional narrator’s day-to-day life during the summer of 1922.

By the end of chapter 3, the reader is quite used to Nick’s proficient use of the English language. Fitzgerald has given Nick the ability to confidently write in a style that is poetic and ...view middle of the document...

He notes that ‘Most of the time I worked’ and he even gives little information about his romantic life: ‘I even had a short affair with a girl who lived in Jersey City.’ This lack of detail contrasts strongly with other parts of the novel, such as Gatsby’s party where Nick remembers everyone he met there and even what they said in conversation with him. This emphasises the way in which many scenes within the novel are parallel to or are mirrored by others, most notably the party scenes. Through this, the reader becomes aware of the ‘scenic method of narrative construction’. This relies heavily on the reader being able to draw their own conclusions but this is assisted by the way in which Nick interrupts the main dialogue with supplementary information about characters and past events. This could be one of the reasons that Fitzgerald makes Nick such a judgemental and opinionated narrator: to influence his audience. Perhaps Fitzgerald would like his audience to see this society as he sees it, so he guides their thoughts in a particular direction to coincide with his own.

Fitzgerald reminds us that as Nick is ‘reading over what [he] has written so far’, he is telling the story of Gatsby from the future and as such, he remains retrospective. At the end of chapter 3, Nick is giving an almost omniscient account: ‘I watched.’ Earlier in the chapter, however, Fitzgerald uncharacteristically presents Nick in the present tense, ‘The orchestra has arrived’ and this involves Nick and the reader as audience members at the party. Nick seems to integrate into this society, as one of the people that he appears to despise. However, he also distances himself as an...

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