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

The Great Gatsby - Chapter 1

Extracts from this document...


Read the beginning of the novel chapter 1 up to page 12 "Tom Buchanan in his riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch." How effective do you find this as an introduction to Great Gatsby. In your response you should pay close attention to voice, language and style. The Great Gatsby was written by F Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, and is set during 1922, a period tinged with moral failure of a society obsessed with class and privilege. Fitzgerald presents us with the conflict between the illusion and the reality of the American dream. The novel begins in the present tense, and is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, the narrator and moral centre of the novel. His tale is told in retrospect. Nick Carraway is a young man from the Mid West, introducing himself as a graduate of Yale and a veteran of World War One. He begins the first chapter by relaying his father's advice: "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the same advantages as you've had." He states that he is also "inclined to reserve all judgement" about people and be a tolerant listener; who is entrusted with people's secrets. This encourages him to withhold formulating opinions about people until he gets to know them, demonstrating his caution. ...read more.


; Where he is able to reflect upon the past few years. Nick declares, with irony that in going East he briefly became a 'guide, a path finder, an original settler'. Nick also introduces us to his family who have been "prominent, well-to-do people"; claiming descent from the dukes of Buccleuch, a wealthy and humble "clan". That has maintained family tradition by remaining in the "wholesale hardware business". Although it is ironic that the Carraway's wealth is based upon cheating similar to how Gatsby obtained his wealth. As if the American dream can only be successful through corruption. Nick however decides to join the bond business and has the support of his father who agrees to finance him for a year. Nick appears to the reader as a person that wants change and has a new hope of building his own future without being too dependent on his father or the family business. This reflects the American dream of new hope and change. The American dream arose in the colonial period and developed in the nineteenth century - was based on the assumption that each person, no matter what there origins, could succeed in life on the basis of his or her own skill and effort. The dream was embodied in the ideal of the self made-man. ...read more.


This appears to be an honest perception of tom that supports our first view of when we meet him (p.12). Fitzgerald reveals a very potent man standing in riding cloths with his legs apart on his front porch. He likes his power, and like the emperor of eastern kingdoms, he expects the obedience of his subjects. It is not only through character status that wealth is symbolised but also through the colour such as "gold". Towards the end of page 9 the reader is given a sense of time and a positive idea of how the modern world is progressing, through the metaphor of "growing trees" and the "burst of leaves" creating new life that has potential just like the American Dream. "Fast movies" (p.9) and the "telephone" (p.12) symbolise the Twentieth -century technological environment. The growth of cinemas, cars, boats is recognised by the twenties as a decade of mass media and mass production in America. The novel raises the issue of individual worth in such a context. In contrast to this materialistic world, Daisy's name evokes a delicate flower. The irony here is that her life is conducted in an entirely manufactured environment, distant from the natural world. The key structure of the chapter is the combination of first person narrative and the gradual revelation of the past. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    The Great Gatsby - In your opinion how effective is Fitzgerald in evoking the ...

    5 star(s)

    of morals and ideals; decay of nature; decay and death (which is what the ashes seem to symbolise). In fact, whilst 'Nick's book' examines the fate of Gatsby and the 'foul dust [that] floated in the wake of his dreams' (pg 8), Fitzgerald's examines the 'foul dust' that 'floated in the wake' of its original aspirations.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the effectiveness of the opening chapter of Fitzgerald’s ‘the Great Gatsby’.

    5 star(s)

    Similarly Gatsby's home "a factual imitation of the Hotel de Ville in Normandy" indicates the artificiality and fakeness that surrounds Gatsby. Its "thin beard of raw ivy" is an attempt at creating some history, though the "spanking" newness of a home in the less fashionable West egg reveals to us Gatsby is one of the nouveau riche.

  1. Great Gatsby Reading Questions and answers.

    Eckleberg affect Mr. Wilson? When George looks at T. J. Eckleberg's eyes, he evokes his wounded. He wants to seek revenge on who killed myrtle. He was determined to find out about the 'death car'. His eyes evoked him to his actions.

  2. Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative styles.

    He uses many poetic devices, which gives the passage a very dream-like tone, and an almost unrealistic quality: '...men and girls came and went like moths...' The use of the word 'moth' in this context, as a simile, gives an impression of the restlessness of the guests.

  1. How effective is Nick Carraways first person narrative technique in The Great Gatsby?

    Due to the fact that the first person narrative is limited in perspective, some of the facts that we hear from Nick may have been distorted or even lies. For example, one day Nick drags himself along to Myrtles apartment in New York. While he is there, he gets drunk.

  2. Nick says of Gatsby,” I disapproved of him from beginning to end”, and also ...

    At the party Nick's companion whispers to him: 'Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once'.

  1. Views on the role of Nick as a narrator in the Great Gatsby have ...

    Island Railroad timetable, we believe that these people actually came to Gatsby's parties. Nick is careful throughout the novel never to tell us things that he could not have known. If he was not present at a particular occasion, he gets the information from someone who was- from Jordan Baker,

  2. Gatsby turned out all right in the end. Paying close attention to language and ...

    he feels that he has to conceal his real background and adopt the persona of an eccentric aristocrat to be accepted. The fact that even his name is not real shows that Gatsby is completely superficial and also could suggest that American Dream has been corrupted and that it?s not

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