How does Fitzgerald tell the story in chapter 6 of "The Great Gatsby"?
Write about the ways Fitzgerald tells the story in chapter 6
Fitzgerald uses Nick to introduce the readers to the evolution of ‘James Gatz’ to Gatsby. Straight away Nick is telling the story in retrospect, once again which is an indication that the narrative is based more on his thoughts and interpretations than facts - meaning his reliability can’t always be trusted, and starts the chapter about Gatsby straight away and how there is an ‘ambitious young reporter’ on his ‘day off’ to question Gatsby. He is there to gain information from Gatsby about the rumours of him being a ‘German Nazi’ and his popularity over the recent summer. This is actually a use of foreshadowing because they are not there for Gatsby but to question his ‘accepted hospitality’ which is later seen in chapter 9 where people gather to reveal information about the ‘madman’ Wilson and the death of Gatsby, not actually Gatsby himself, just the role he plays.
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This chapter is not told in chronological order, due to Nick admitting he tells the anecdote of Gatsby’s past, first and Gatsby ‘told me all this very much later’ which means Fitzgerald decided to show the reader of Gatsby’s past of ‘unsuccessful farm people’ to another lavish party Gatsby throws so the reader understand how he got from point A to B. This is also part of Nick’s manipulating narrative because we are told how Gatsby ‘didn’t get it’ (the money from Dan Cody) which paints Gatsby is a good light because he built up his own wealth from not wanting to be a ‘janitor’ anymore. However, its also the work of Tom do we understand Gatsby and Nick aren’t being completely open about his wealth because Tom suddenly suggests Gatsby is a ‘bootlegger’ meaning Nick starts the chapter with an anecdote of Gatsby’s heroic attempt to save Dan Cody’s yacht but refuses the admit he then later created his money from illegal behaviour.
The main setting of chapter 6 is Gatsby house. However, it’s seen at day time and night. In the day time we see how Gatsby has guests who include Tom Buchanan are ready to leave. They invite Gatsby but end up leaving without him. This shows how Gatsby isn’t really anyone’s friend and that people really do use him for his ‘hospitality’ not friendship. This shows how ‘twilight’ contrasts against the ‘Sunday afternoon’ to show how Gatsby is polite and welcomes people into his home but no one will repay the favour. This, however, could be another manipulation made by Nick to get sympathy for Gatsby because this is all told in retrospect meaning when we hear how, in chapter 9, that Nick is ‘on Gatsby side and all alone’ he could be using previous chapters, like 6, to manipulate the past.
Fitzgerald also uses motifs and colour to tell the story in chapter 6. This is conspicuous when Daisy says to Nick, ‘present a green card. I’m giving out green-.’ This is to show mouldy love because Daisy had previously said; ‘if you want to kiss me’ which Nick would not want to do because he does not love Daisy, meaning the ‘green card’ is a representation of mouldy love. However, it must not be forgotten that Gatsby looks at the dock for the ‘green light’ before reuniting with Daisy, which could be a suggestion from Fitzgerald to show how Gatsby’s and Daisy’s love has expired over the ‘5 years next November’ yet both of them are unable to admit it. This is also a use of foreshadowing because green can also represent freedom, freedom is actually what Tom and Daisy always seem to convey after something has gone wrong, meaning that they are able to move on swiftly after events, such as Gatsby and Myrtles death.