Write about Some of The Ways That Fitzgerald Tells The Story In Chapter 3 Chapter 3 is profusely important to the novel as it is the chapter in which the novel’s titular character, Jay Gatsby is finally introduced to the reader through the narrative voice of Nick Carraway. One of the ways that Fitzgerald does this is through the use of structure and dialogue. At the beginning of chapter 3 both the narrator, Nick Carraway and the reader are introduced to what a typical party at Gatsby’s house entails.
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars” This quote highlights the key elements of the lifestyle revolving Gatsby. “Went like moths” this indicates that people are drawn to Gatsby due to “the whisperings” meaning the gossip about him and his questionably sourced money.
Fitzgerald uses this chapter to build up to the introduction of Gatsby. This build up is continued through the use of dialogue in the chapter “…he was a German spy during the war” this highlights the speculation surrounding Gatsby as well as the infatuation the other characters have with him; it also reflects both Nick and the reader’s feelings at that point in the novel with regards to the mystery of Gatsby.
Who is he? By using these techniques, Fitzgerald initiates the growth of a crescendo to the introduction of Gatsby. A crescendo which falls flat as Gatsby’s introduction is completely overlooked by both Nick and the reader who are so consumed by the scene and speculation around them, that they miss the very thing they are looking for. However this misdirection is extremely indicative of Gatsby’s character; he likes to observe and remain elusive as well as foreshadowing that much like his introduction, expectations built up for Gatsby will ultimately lead to disappointment. Another way that Fitzgerald tells the story is through the use of Nick Carraway as an unreliable narrator. This is shown most conclusively when Gatsby is finally revealed to Nick. Prior to establishing who he was, Nick offered a very minimal and disinterested description of Gatsby to the reader.
However once Gatsby’s identity is revealed to him, Nick offers a more generous and even romanticised description of him “He smiled understandingly- much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it” Depicting that after being so taken in by the scene around him, for the first time Nick is actually paying attention to the man he is talking to, highlighting the unreliability of Nick as a narrator as the reader only receives information that interests Nick. It also indicates his feelings towards Jay Gatsby as his description of him is seemingly clouded with curiosity, awe and even elements of adulation at times, as Nick is not only relaying his account of the story to the reader but evidently revelling in reliving the experience. Demonstrating to the reader that Nick’s representation or account of events cannot be taken as truth. In conclusion, though there are many ways that F. Scott Fitzgerald tells the story in chapter 3, the most important are the structure and dialogue as they convey foresight into events to come later in the novel. As well as reflecting the reader’s feelings towards the mystery of Jay Gatsby which enables them to gain a better understanding of the story. Though Nick’s narrative voice is also important as it indicates to the reader that the way in which these events occurred in Nick’s account may not actually be the way they happened. Leading them to perhaps question the credibility of not only the story in chapter 3, but the entire novel altogether.
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