Narrative Viewpoint in the Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald

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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 ‘Gatsby-the man who gives his name to this book’ This sense of inscrutability which is omnipresent with Gatsby is cleverly achieved through the narrative techniques which Fitzgerald employs. The most obvious, and also most effective of which is the narration from Nick’s perspective. Throughout this novel it is Nick’s views of Gatsby which we read, not Fitzgerald’s and not anyone else’s. Only Nick’s. And even Nick seems to be some what in the dark as to Gatsby’s character, he often switches tact throughout the novel on his impression of Gatsby. This seems to insinuate that he has been ponderous over Gatsby for some time. The reader gains the impression that Nick has made calculating decisions throughout the novel, in terms of what he allows us to know about Gatsby. He is after all writing in retrospect. The very fact that Nick still has an ambiguous attitude towards Gatsby even after his death, endorses the readers opinion of Gatsby as a character who can not be categorised. He is uniqu... ... middle of paper ... ...istaken, for had he done so he would not have been what makes Gatsby, Gatsby- a man with ’an infinite gift of hope, for romantic readiness’!!!!!!!!

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