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Structure in Chapter 1,8 and 9 of The Great Gatsby

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Introduction

Structure in Chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald begins chapter eight with 'I couldn't sleep all night...frightening dreams.' This creates the tension at the beginning of the chapter. Fitzgerald does this in order to prepare the reader for the worst outcome; the death of Gatsby. From Nick's diagesis about his restless night, the reader can understand the honesty of his relationship with Gatsby as he as a character can sense that there is something wrong. Beginning the chapter with the fog-horn 'groaning incessantly on the Sound...' surprises the reader as this is a sound that has not been mentioned up until this point of the narrative. The fact that this sound is not usual, also implies that the something out of the ordinary is going to happen, increasing the tension in build up to the crux of the narrative. Fitzgerald chooses to have the death of the protagonist in the penultimate chapter of the novel in order to present the reader with a mimesis, that is, that the death of Gatsby leaves the novel with no purpose to carry on. ...read more.

Middle

How does Fitzgerald tell the story in Chapter One of The Great Gatsby? Fitzgerald focalises the narrative through Nick Carraway, the implied author and homodiegetic narrator. This allows the reader to develop a reliance on Nick's character as he is involved in the embedded narrative so has the ability to tell the story accurately to the reader. Nick's diegesis expresses to the reader that he is 'inclined to reserve all judgements.' This also increases the credibility of his narrative as he is not prejudiced. However, one may also question the gaps within the narrative; the information that Nick does not include in his diegesis, as part of the reader response theory NO NEED TO INCLUDE THEORY IN THIS QUESTION - FOCUS ON LANG/FORM/STRUCTURE as well as an element of authorial intention to withhold certain aspects of the narrative from the reader. This could therefore colour the reader's judgements about Nick as a narrator as he does not reveal all the information. 'Who with?...I told him.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Symbolism is also used to tell the narrative. Nick tells the reader of Daisy's outfit; 'white dresses'. The colour white is symbolic of innocence and purity. This reflects Daisy's character very well as the reader is then able to justify her naivety with her supposed innocence. The Buchanan's are described as 'drifting here and there...' This implies that they have no aims in life, instead they drift pointlessly from place to place. In contrast to Gatsby's character who is told to have 'an extraordinary gift for hope', Daisy and Tom are almost blinded by their wealth and are unable to see the world that surrounds them or the consequences they are creating; these are highlighted when the Valley of Ashes is introduced in chapter two. Nick as the implied author, disjoints the narrative by only releasing a small amount of information about the protagonist of the novel; Gatsby. His admiration however is evident; 'who represented everything for which I had an unaffected scorn.' The jump from the diagesis being based around the protagonist to Nick's family suggests that he is withholding any further information about Gatsby from the reader. These slow and short releases of information help to create suspense within the reader. ...read more.

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