How does Fitzgerald tell the story in Chapter 4?
Chapter 4 develops the character of Gatsby and questions the reliability of Nick as a narrator. Fitzgerald reveals two different sides of Jay Gatsby and hints at Gatsby's criminal doings as Gatsby takes Nick to meet some of his questionable acquaintances. Additionally, Nick and Jordan's relationship is introduced and developed. Fitzgerald also employs the use of cinematic cuts which create the effect that the events of the chapter are real.
Fitzgerald tells the story in Chapter 4 through the character of Jay Gatsby. Two different sides of Gatsby are established; romantic Gatsby and the criminal side of Gatsby. Fitzgerald uses Gatsby's multi-faceted character to make Gatsby seem
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Nick is an unreliable narrator as he does not remain objective and partial in his view of Gatsby. This is shown when Nick says that his fascination in Gatsby was “like skimming hastily through a dozen magazines.” This simile echoes Myrtle's gossip magazines and so questions whether all that Gatsby has said about his life is lies and gossip too, written sensationally to evoke a strong response from the reader. The word “skimming” suggests that Gatsby is trying to tell Nick a large amount of information about himself very quickly, so that Nick cannot slow down to examine the details and come to the conclusion that Gatsby is a fraud. Nick is also shown to be unreliable as he believes Gatsby, after been the evidence of Gatsby's stories, despite Nick being cynical of them when he first heard them. As soon as Nick is shown the photograph of Gatsby at Oxford, Nick believes everything that Gatsby has told him as he says that he saw “skins of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal,” which is very artificial and exaggerated, suggesting that Nick does not truly believe Gatsby but wants to see the best in him and so grudgingly believes him. The romantic language that Nick uses such as “flaming” suggests that Nick only wants to associate Gatsby with romance and finds it difficult to think of Gatsby as a liar. The idea of Gatsby not being perfect and being deceitful concerns Nick as Nick is obsessed