Great Gatsby: How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story in Chapter 8

708 Words Oct 23rd, 2011 3 Pages
Throughout the whole novel, Fitzgerald uses Nick Carraway as the narrator to tell everything, and let the readers understand the characters and incidents from Nick’s point of view. Nick has a vivid imagination that he uses to interpret people’s reactions and feelings, this is especially found in the chapter eight in which Nick creates the past of Gatsby and Daisy; and the last movement of Gatsby at the end of the chapter.

When Fitzgerald is presenting Gatsby and Daisy’s first meet, ‘he had never been in such a beautiful house before. But what gave it an air of breathless intensity was that Daisy lived there’ suggests Nick thinks Daisy has already created a very good and elegant impression in Gatsby’s mind. Based on the acknowledgement
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Similar to the case he creates Gatsby’s romance, he uses what he knows about Gatsby and makes guess of what Gatsby is probably thinking or doing at his last moment. He says Gatsby “left word with the butler that if anyone phoned word was to be brought to him at the pool”, it seems Nick knows really well what Gatsby is going to do next and what is on his mind. But in the third last paragraph of the chapter, Nick changed his tone from telling the “story” to making a guess, “I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn’t believe it would come, and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.” This can reflect the own point of view of Fitzgerald towards the American dream, a high cost dream with disappointment at the end as a tragic fact.

Fitzgerald has chosen to modify the narrative and employ a narrator who is only partially involved. At times he relies on the testimony of other characters. However, Nick’s unreliability leads us to question his account of what he claims others have told him, so different interpretations of events are possible. This means that key scenes of the story can be left to the reader’s imagination, thus enhancing the mystery. Fitzgerald’s choice of narrator allows us to glimpse the glory of Gatsby’s illusion and simultaneously makes us aware of its hopelessness by keeping us in touch with reality. In addition, we

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