• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the function of the narrator in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the function of the narrator in F. Scott Fitzgerald?s ?The Great Gatsby? and Brett Easton Ellis? ?Less Than Zero? Published in 1925 by author F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, is considered a literary classic by many critics. The eponymous novel is set in the ?Roaring 1920?s? post World War 1 and tells the tale of Jay Gatsby through the novel?s narrator, Nick Carraway. The exposition begins when we are told of the socio-cultural divide between the upper class of America, by a character who has just moved to Long Island from Minnesota. The clear separation between West Egg and East Egg is an idea explored by Nick, who is a resident of the ?lower-upper? class West Egg. Throughout the novel, it can be observed that events that occur are a direct parallel to the life of Scott Fitzgerald, as he projects characteristics of both Gatsby and Nick that were similar to his own. It is widely believed that the book is written in a manner that is cynical of the American Dream and of the elitist society, in a biased fashion that favours Gatsby. Conversely, Less Than Zero is a novel set in the 1980s and tells the story of affluent college students, who lead hedonistic lifestyles with the security of their parents? wealth. ...read more.

Middle

It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself” This quotation epitomizes Nick’s admiration for Gatsby before he has properly met him and implies that he has already formulated an opinion based upon rumours he has heard but also based on the party Gatsby invited him to. Once again, this is may be seen as a condemnation of American society by Fitzgerald who shows that capitalist and superficiality was a major factor in defining an individual. Gatsby’s flawless persona does deteriorate as the novel progresses and as Gatsby comes close to achieving his dream, however Nick appears to glaze over this and as a result, preserves Gatsby’s “greatness” to the reader. The use of the affectation “old sport” throughout Gatsby’s communication with Nick highlights a friendship that is neither formal nor informal but rather one of an illusionary nature. This is to say that Gatsby uses the affectation in order to evoke a more appealing, intellectual persona. Despite Nick seeing through his façade, he chooses to ignore the matter, instead only becomes more infatuated with what Gatsby represents. “What part of the Middle West?’ I inquired casually.’ ‘San Francisco’ ‘I see” It is apparent that Nick knows San Francisco is not in the Middle West but rather on the west coast yet he chooses not to argue as if Gatsby’s word is unequivocally truth. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, in spite of this, Clay does offer himself as a more intellectual individual compared to other characters, by the way he looks at the billboard that is titled “Disappear Here”. Evidently he does not choose to “disappear” and instead stays amongst the morally obsolete society that he is attached to and this ultimately leads to the dénouement in which he is forced to leave his society. Both novels differ in the tone in which they are written though the contexts are very similar despite being in diverse decades. On the one hand, there is Nick who is biased towards one specific character and seems to show disdain for the society that he once strived for, and on the other, Clay, who has a more direct approach to narration and more expressively communicates the plot to the reader. Overall, the two narrators are used to convey to very different ideas that are relevant to their contexts. The Great Gatsby is narrated such that the reader is almost forced into liking Gatsby despite his clear superficiality, which is upheld by trivial objects such as “real books” and medals with “authentic looks”. Less Than Zero poses are more critical view of society, with the narrator becoming confused by the moral ambiguity and generally growing to hate the society that he belongs to as it has been reduced to individualism and by an large a fractured society whereby “people are afraid to merge”. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    Neither of them would back down until finally they both collapsed, Geoffrey watching from his chair. Caravaggio wonders who the patient is speaking as now, and watches him and wonders about him. The man who sometimes speaks of himself in the first person, sometimes in the third, yet never refers to himself as Alm�sy.

  2. In what ways are Gatsby and George Wilson similar or dissimilar, to whom is ...

    Comparatively, George does not involve himself in such a tainted world and instead follows a morally acceptable path in life by owning a legal garage. To some extent though, Fitzgerald uses this character to emphasise how such a traditional stance like the one George takes up (where one follows the

  1. The Idea of Carelessness in "The Great Gatsby", Rosetti's poems and "The Rime ...

    Fitzgerald shines a negative light on this kind of behaviour and encourages his readers to see how morally and ethically wrong it is to behave in such a manner, even having Nick?s character say ?they were careless people - tom and daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and

  2. They f*** you up, your mum and dad Philip Larkin. To what extent is ...

    This profound control Capulet has over his daughter creates a sense of desperation in Juliet which ultimately causes her to stage her death so she may marry Romeo; unfortunately resulting in her actual suicide. In Hard Times the controlling nature of Louisa?s father also has terrible consequences.

  1. In both The Great Gatsby and The Kite Runner, Fitzgerald and Hosseini constantly use ...

    The 'gigantic' nature of the billboard suggests that it is a dominant god-like feature of this setting and by presenting it with 'blue' eyes Fitzgerald uses the motif of colour to suggest that it gives hope to the 'ashen' setting.

  2. One of the strongest points of comparison between 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Property' is ...

    they allowed the citizens to feel that there was democracy as to choosing which living suits you, as well as carrying out duties to the family the handmaid's have been assigned to. However, it is arguable that although there is a lot of "feminist critique of male power, that the

  1. Control, submission and rebellion in the novels The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, Memoirs ...

    Offred?s identity has also been stripped off her as she has lost her real name and goes by the name ?Offred? meaning ?of? ?Fred? as the commander?s name is Fred. Offred expresses her sorrows of this matter as she reminisces on her thoughts about her body before Gilead, she says

  2. Strictly Ballroom (1992) directed by Baz Luhrmann, Uglies (2007) a novel written by Scott ...

    Whilst Luhrmann may explore the human spirit?s craving to belong, he contrastingly highlights through protagonist Scott Hastings the desire of an individual to break away from a group that usurps one?s individuality. During the opening dance scene, Scott becomes ?boxed in?, metaphoric for the strict inflexibility the ballroom dancing world implements on its dancers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work