"The Great Gatsby": A Critical evaluation of dialogue and narration

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Throughout "The Great Gatsby" there are many different forms of narration and dialogue. Barbara Hochman takes these narrating voices into account in her essay, "Disembodied voices and narrating bodies in 'The Great Gatsby'." Throughout her writing she gives thorough explanations of each of the major characters dialogues and how they relate to one another, as well as focusing on one of the main characters and narrator of the novel, Nick. Dan Coleman also provides sufficient information on dealing with the dialogue of the novel is in essay, "Tuning in to Conversation in the Novel: Gatsby and the Dynamics of Dialogue." Coleman further breaks down the dialogue and addresses the relationship between another two of the novels main characters,…show more content…
In narration, Nick gives his understanding of what it was that Gatsby was trying to convey when he says, "Gatsby's very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned 'character' leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne" (10). This criticism makes perfect sense from the readers perspective because Nick has expected more of Gatsby, not necessarily and an extremely honest person, but at least a storyteller.

The essay by Coleman focuses firstly on language, dialogue, and how the two combined have been shut out by solely tuning in to the narrative voice. With the use of the opinions of other critics, he explains how most critical evaluations focus on either the language and dialogue, or the narrative voice, but never link the two together. Fitzgerald himself offers an invitation to reconsider the critical method in saying, "There was never a good biography of a good novelist. There couldn't be. He is too many people if he's any good" (2). With this Fitzgerald is implying that there is not only one author behind a good novel, and there cannot be just one narrative voice within that novel. This is exactly what Fitzgerald is trying to do with "The Great Gatsby".

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