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Consider the narrators role in the Great Gatsby

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Introduction

Name: Choy Kok Seng Adrian Class: 5.04 English A: Language and Literature (Part 3: Texts and Contexts) Consider the narrator?s role in the Great Gatsby. The ?Great Gatsby? was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In his novel, he adopted a unique style of first-person narration. The narrator of the story was Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota in the Midwest. He was born into a well-situated family and graduated from Yale. Soon after, he entered the military service to fight for his own country in World War I. After this, in 1922, he moved to the glamorous melting pot of New York to learn more on bond businesses after the war had drastically changed his perceptions of the world. In the West Egg, he rented a small cottage and became Gatsby?s neighbor. This was the start of Gatsby?s tale based on Carraway?s point of view. Carraway, as the narrator, accounted for the various events and happenings that he had witnessed throughout the dreadful four months of summer in 1922. Besides accounting for the various events, Carraway had also given his own insight and opinions on the events himself. Much can be said about Carraway as the tale?s first person narrator where he mostly plays a passive role in the events of the story but at some points, actively participates in the events. ...read more.

Middle

He was unaware of the moral decadence and corruption within society?s hierarchy. With this form of ignorance and innocence in the beginning of the tale, he starts off as a reliable eye-witness to the events. He plays a role of neutrality between the conflict of characters such as the fight and argument between Tom and Myrtle. Without knowing much, he had no choice to reserve his judgments on others and often acting as only a recorder of events. In addition, as a privilege eye-witness, Carraway had often bases his accounts on his own visual perceptions and makes conclusion in a wary manner. This can be shown in the fifth chapter when Gatsby met Daisy for the first time in ages. He was able to analyze Gatsby?s facial expressions while he met Daisy in Carraway?s cottage. From there, he placed meaning in Gatsby?s gestures and expressions. Carraway?s insight in his own observations makes the narration more in-depth. This actually places the readers in Carraway?s shoes which can help them picture the visual perceptions of Carraway. Another role of Carraway as a narrator was as provider of information to readers. Most of the information is conveyed through Carraway?s own accounts and witnesses. However, whenever Carraway could not obtain the first hand version of information and facts, he quotes information he had obtained from various sources. ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance, when Tom had blurted out that Gatsby was indeed a bootlegger, Carraway immediately incriminate him as a man of dishonesty and a criminal. His perception of Gatsby was immediately changed. As he became more judgmental of society, especially those around him, his narration was twisted as it became a more biased point of view. Besides that, later on, he stated that the Jordan Baker was a liar. As a result, this made her accounts and rumors from her highly questionable and further adds onto the enigma behind Gatsby?s and Daisy?s former romance. Lastly, the distortion of Carraway?s vision also shows the unreliability of Carraway?s account. A good example would be when Carraway was drunk during Myrtle?s party in the apartment in the second chapter. This gave a dim and hazy view on what actually was accounted for during the party. As a result, mystery builds up around the scene. In conclusion, the first-person narrative style used by Fitzgerald is definitely intriguing to its readers. The role of Carraway as both a reliable and unreliable narraton in various cases reflects on the main protagonist?s enigmatic personality. Unreliability within Carraway?s narration actually gives much thought to the readers as they contemplate about the hidden mysteries surrounding Gatsby. In a sense, Carraway?s retrospective memory on Gatsby?s tragedy is a way of getting past his ignorance he held onto which helped him consolidate his maturity. ...read more.

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