Epistemic And Flashbacks In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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Epistemic and Axiological are two narratives amongst the four frequently used narratives. Although they both contribute to the story being told in The Great Gatsby, they possess a variety of differences regarding their specific contribution to the story. However, their differences blend together and help to achieve the author’s purpose for writing the story. Fitzgerald’s use of universal narrative technique achieves his purpose of discovering “Who is Gatsby?” by providing key flashbacks of Gatsby’s past, sharing Nick’s impression of Gatsby, and dichotomizing Nick and Gatsby.

The Axiological narrative, which directly revolved around Gatsby, provided key flashbacks of Gatsby’s past. Furthermore, these flashbacks emphasized Gatsby’s desire
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Throughout the novel, Nick commented on the physical appearance of Gatsby, as well as shared his thoughts and personal opinions of him. (Ch 3; pg 52) Nick stated “It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.” This specific physical observation emphasized the rarity of Gatsby’s smile. As a result, it left the readers questioning who Gatsby really was, keeping in mind that he possessed a physical quality that was much different from anyone else that Nick had ever witnessed. (Ch 9; pg 162) Nick said “I disapproved of him from beginning to end.” Within the first paragraphs of the novel, the audience discovered that Nick avoided judging people. However, this was a significant judgement that he made towards Gatsby. Since, he tried to avoid making judgements, he must have had an acceptable reason for making such a judgement. (Ch 3; pg 54) Nick mentally commented to himself “I could see nothing sinister about him.” Gatsby’s lack of sinisterness aided to the mystery being developed. If he did not appear to be sinister, yet Nick disapproved of him, than what made Nick disapprove of him? The Epistemic narrative focuses on developing a mystery through the use of knowledge and beliefs. Nick provided facts and shared his beliefs about Gatsby’s …show more content…
While Nick’s views correspond with the Epistemic narrative, Gatsby’s views correspond with the Axiological narrative. As discussed earlier in the unit, the Epistemic narrative creates a mystery through the use of knowledge and beliefs. Nick is a realist, and often relies on knowledge and factual information in order to make his judgements. (Ch 6; pg 116) Nick says to Gatsby “You can’t repeat the past.” This is true, as you cannot physically repeat the past. Nick uses the information from the situation to conclude that you cannot repeat the past, which is essentially saying it will probably not work out with Daisy, the way Gatsby wants it to. This knowledge and factual based reasoning coincides with the Epistemic narrative. Gatsby, on the other hand, is the hopeful, and develops moral obligations through values and ethics. (Ch 6; pg 116) Gatsby replies to Nick “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!” Gatsby has made an obligation to reunite with Daisy and essentially start their relationship where they left off. He has hope that the past can be repeated, and he and Daisy can be together once again. He values the love he and Daisy share, which gives him hope for their romantic future. This hopeful reasoning coincides with the Axiological narrative, as hope is often a result of values and moral obligations. By using the narratives to emphasize the

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