The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay example

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay example

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When approaching reading practices there are four different classifications, author-centred, reader-centred, text-centred and world-centred approaches. By applying the author-centred approach whilst reviewing The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald published in 1925, I was able to understand the dominant interpretation that Fitzgerald intended the readers to produce. The reader is able to recognise links between an author’s life and text (Queensland Studies Authority, November 2011, pg.4). The author-centred approach focuses on the history of the author and their personal experiences rather than the reader’s. The theories of author-centred approaches are useful in making interpretations of The Great Gatsby as the reader can interpret the novel as a biography of sorts. Literary theorists included in the review of The Great Gatsby are Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault and Moon. These theorists all work together to critically analyse the impact of the author’s personal understandings on what the reader interprets from the novel.
One of the most fundamental concepts of the author centred approach is, 20th century French theorist, Roland Barthes’ theory of the Author God (1978). More modern understandings of authorship have allowed society to create meanings of text that the author wanted to be understood. The theory of the Author God correlates with this understanding of authorship, stating the intention of the author determined the interpretation of the reader. The author was also seen to surpass their own culture under this theory, offering insights into the widespread moral problems of humanity. By applying this theory, I was able to interpret the book how it was written, as a biographical novel of a trouble man that was wealthy in m...


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...es, I have been able to interpret the initial meaning that F. Scott Fitzgerald had intended. Both Arnold and Booth have created suitable theories to interpret The Great Gatsby however, Booth’s theory the Implied Author was more applicable to create meaning from the novel. Arnold’s theory, entitled Culture and Anarchy (1869), didn’t assist in interpreting the meaning of the novel, it just told me that The Great Gatsby was a popular novel with a lot already said about it. Foucault’s theory of Author Functions was more useful when creating an interpretation of The Great Gatsby than Barthes’ theory of the Author God, conveyed through the idea that the three Author Functions can give a sense on what The Great Gatsby was before reading the novel. The study of these theories has given me a greater understanding of why The Great Gatsby was written and its historical context.

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