Narrative Viewpoint in the Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald Essay

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Narrative Viewpoint

Gatsby is quintessentially presented to us as a paradoxical enigma. As the novel progresses this sense of mystery shrouding him is heightened. We see Gatsby through the looking glass, we catch frequent glimpses of him, yet only through Nick’s trained eye. We are, to a certain extent, unable to judge him for ourselves. Even so Nick is eager to depict Gatsby as a multi-faceted character, one who hides behind his own self concocted images of himself. Is this the ‘indiscernible barbed wire’? Is Gatsby himself the ‘foul dust that floated in the wake of’ his own ‘dreams’? Indeed one of the unique features of this novel is the mystery surrounding it’s main character
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It is this presentation of Gatsby which has made his character infamous in literature. Throughout the novel we are scarcely in ‘touch’ with his character, and according to the extract, neither were those people surrounding him, for Daisy ‘was the first nice girl he had ever known.’ ‘..What gave it an air of breathless intensity..Daisy lived there..it was as casual a thing to her as..out at camp was to him’ For me this quotation helps emphasise truly the essence of how Gatsby’s character is depicted throughout this novel. He is the chameleon, interminably in pursuit of a further re-invention of himself. This quote perhaps show cases one of Gatsby’s original adaptations to the world around him, to become wealthy, to be significant. To become the ‘Great Gatsby’ and not to stay as ‘just’ James Gatz. Gatsby is depicted here as having seen Daisy’s way of life as the next plateau in his re development in character. Therefore, we query as to whether it was Daisy’s appearance and personality that attracted Gatsby to her, or her money and lifestyle. I would suggest that it would have been more of the latter. This is most certainly in keeping with the way in which Gatsby is presented to us throughout the novel’s entirety. The below passage is most definitely acquiescent to the rest of the novel, in terms of the narrative viewpoint, as once more we find
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