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

The significance of flashbacks in the novel, The Great Gatsby

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A character's attempt to recapture or reject the past is an important aspect in many novels, plays and poems. Choose a work in which a character views the past with such feelings a reverence, bitterness, or longing. Reveal how the character's view of the past is used to develop a theme in the work. In literature, memories of the past are often used to convey a character's inner beliefs and values. The character's attempt to recapture or even to reject the past suggests his or her true emotions such as reverence, bitterness, and longing. In The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, issues regarding the past are closely tied to Jay Gatsby's character as he both longs for past and yet runs away from it. The past that he attempts to revive throughout the novel is the one he once shared with Daisy, who is the love of his life. Gatsby's desire to have his relationship with Daisy reignited has led him to chase after the past. ...read more.

Middle

Gatsby was not only able to erase his wealth less past from his own name, but also to hide it from the face of society. Throughout the novel, Gatsby's true identity was left anonymous and nobody knew who he actually was and how he earned his fortune. This is supported by the mysterious tone in the voices of the people when discussing Gatsby's past. "I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany,"... "Oh, no," said the first girl, "it couldn't be that, because he was in the American army during the war." In this quote, Fitzgerald incorporates an abundant use of diction that suggests rumors. Furthermore, the presence of disagreement arouses a sense of uncertainty, which adds to the mysterious tone present in the conversation. This suggests the ambiguous life that Gatsby led despite the fame he gained from all the parties he has hosted. In addition, Gatsby hides his true identity from society by lying about his past. ...read more.

Conclusion

The visual imagery of blossoming flowers reflects the softness of their kiss, which further suggests their love at that time. Furthermore, the detailed description of that kiss conveys to readers the extent that Gatsby treasured such memory. He even compared it to the incarnation of a flower. All these truly reflect Gatsby's sincere love towards Daisy and his longing to recapture the past that they once shared. Overall, the past functions as a treasure and also an embarrassment to Gatsby. His childhood that was characterized by poverty has made him degrade himself and think of himself as unworthy of Daisy's love. To overcome that, he decided to leave the past behind and build a better future. During that process he has told lies regarding his past to an extent where nobody truly knows his origins. However, despite all the change that he has done to his past, he still longs for one unchangeable piece of it - Daisy. His true love for Daisy has led him to become the man he is, with hopes and dreams of reigniting and recapturing the past that they once shared in Louisville. ...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 F. Scott Fitzgerald 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 F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore F.Scotts Fitzgeralds presentation of class and wealth in The Great Gatsby and The ...

    4 star(s)

    This surreal and dream like quality of wealth is also reflected in 'The Diamond as Big as the Ritz' with the depiction of the girl who is dressed like 'Titania'. In the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania is the queen of the fairies which Fitzgerald may have used to

  2. Three characters in The Great Gatsby and the theme of obsession

    Wilson is desperate to keep Myrtle-he even goes through the length to keep her locked up in her upstairs bedroom, like a caged bird. After discovering her affair, he decides to move west out of sheer impulsiveness. As Tom stops by to fill the car with gas, Wilson mentions his plan to him.

  1. It is Nick who makes Jay Gatsby into The Great Gatsby(TM). With close reference ...

    Fitzgerald's simile of the guests being insect-like expresses Nick's observation of the superficial materialism and immorality of American society (emphasized in the former quotation by the sibilance of "whisperings"), as they are only tempted by Gatsby's wealth, drawn like moths to his light, while making Gatsby seem somehow compelling and

  2. With reference to critical assessments and different readings of the novel such as the ...

    sexual urge which he wishes to fulfil with Daisy, but I also feel that this is not directed in an obsessive way, simply that he is lost in his own passion so does not realise how far this desire has taken him from reality.

  1. The Great Gatsby: Different Kinds of Love

    joy.? Perhaps Daisy thought she would never be happy again, she remembers happy memories spent with Gatsby, memories she does not share with Tom. Fitzgerald shows the heartache Daisy suffers is not from loving too much but more regret in being too weak to follow her heart.

  2. The American Dream is what drives the characters in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

    Myrtle is that infamous model of how the political and social ideals of America conflict so that the American dream becomes a nightmare. Contrary to the naivete the American dream, there are indeed fine class distinctions. With them comes certain social boundaries.

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