The Great Gatsby is A Novel In Which The Ending Is Skilfully Prepared Throughout The Text

The Great Gatsby is A Novel In Which The Ending Is Skilfully Prepared Throughout The Text

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"The Great Gatsby" by F.S. Fitzgerald is a novel where we see the use of symbolism of death and ghosts and the use of first person narrative, in order to help skilfully prepare us for the tragic ending of the novel with death of the central character.
Set during the 1920's, "The Great Gatsby" is about ‘Jay Gatsby', who fulfils the American dream by becoming rich. After having fulfilled the American Dream he tries to fulfil his own personal dream by getting back his old love, ‘Daisy Buchanan'. In doing so it results in his own death.
At the beginning of the novel we are introduced to the main protagonist, ‘Nick Carroway' who is the narrator of the novel and therefore sets out his opinions of Gatsby which help prepare us for the end of the novel. Nick is a trustworthy narrator as he feels "inclined to reserve all judgements." In chapter 1 we are given the impression that Gatsby is a complex character, when nick says he "represents everything for which I have an unaffected scorn." This is effective as it helps emphasise his hatred of Gatsby's lifestyle and the ideas which he represents. However he admires the extent of Gatsby's achievements. This is made clear to us when he tells us their houses are next to each other. He refers to Gatsby's as being "a factual imitation of some hotel de ville in Normandy." This shows us the ridiculousness of his house in comparison to nicks "eyesore". The fact that it sis criticising the American Dream shows us his achievements aren't real. This is therefore been seen as effective as it is giving us an insight into the character of Gatsby. It also prepares us for the text=ending">ending as it shows us that society has been selfishly driven into the fulfilment of his personal dream and therefore shows us the drive for the American Dream. Therefore this is seen as being self disruptive but at the same time admiral in his pursuit for happiness.
Through the novel Fitzgerald uses a series of images of death which aid our understanding of the novel as a whole and also skilfully prepares us for the ending. Also in chapter 1 Nick tells Daisy how she is missed in New York, "All the cars have their left rear wheel painted black as armouring wreath".

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This is effective as it emphasising the sombre mood of death. Fitzgerald in the simile compares the wheel of the car as a mourning wreath. Here is uses the image of death ironically as he uses it to give daisy a compliment in a light hearted way. The fact that the wheel is part of the car is also effective as it is seen as being symbolic of wealth. Through the novel and therefore portrays happiness but here it is the complete opposite and which is emphasised through the colour ‘black' which has connotations of evil and gloom here. This is therefore effective as it adds to the use of images and the pattern of death which points to end.
The next time Fitzgerald uses death symbolically is when we see Myrtle Wilson buying: "a wreath with a black silk bow for mother's grave that'll last all summer". The use of the wreath here again emphasises the symbolic nature of death. The word ‘black' is effective as it emphasis doom. When Myrtle states ‘that'll last all summer' she is almost foreshadowing an event which s to come in the ‘hot' summer, her death. The effectiveness of this word is that it adds to the growing tension which is about to be resolved and therefore results in Gatsby's death.
The symbolic use of death is further used in chapter seven when we witness the death of Myrtle which is seen as a turning point as it directly results in the outcome of the ending, Gatsby's death. When the death occurs it is when Daisy is driving the car but Gatsby takes the blame for it, he says "obviously I was going to say it was me". This is effective as it shows us the honourable, through his innocent and genuine love for Daisy. When he apparently knocks her over, "he causes her to mingle with her thick dark blood." This word ‘mingle' is effective at portraying her death as it has connotations of lurking about like dust and demonstrates the disgusting nature of it all and the grotesque nature of his dream. It also puts an end to her "tremendous vitality". The word ‘vitality' is effective as it has connotation of liveliness. Now that Myrtle is dead she doesn't have this feature anymore. It also shows us the narrator's disgust at the lifestyle of drink-fuelled, sexually driven underworld. Whats more it helps us prepare for the death of Gatsby.
Through out the novel we see how wealth is a major theme especially at Gatsby's parties. In chapter 3 we are introduced to one of his parties where we see characterisation and symbolism play an important part. The theme of wealth is portrayed through cars, for example we are told, "His Rolls-Royce became an omnibus." This is effective as it demonstrates the extreme measures Gatsby took in order to please his guests. We are also told, "Men and girls came and went like moths. This is an example of a simile which compares the ‘men and girls' to a moth. This is effective as it shows us the hedonism of society, therefore showing us the excesses of the wealthy classes. The fact that light is used as an extended metaphor through the novel, in this chapter it is used to show us the guests are attracted to the light which therefore represents the fulfilment of the American dream. Also the fact he turns on all the lights is to impress Daisy, "the lights glow brighter". In chapter 6, at Gatsby's last party we are able to create a comparison between that one and his earlier extravagant parties. We are told "sometimes a shadow moved against the dressing room blind." This is effective as it is creating reference to the symbolism of ghosts and shadows. This is an example of personification as the shadow is being compared to a ghost, which emphasis that thee is no energy which is the complete to chapter 3.
Throughout the novel we hear rumours about Gatsby, which mystifies him even more which helps in the preparation of the ending, when we see his death and all his truths are revealed. So far we don't know how he has generated his enormous wealth over the years. Instead we are told rumours such as "he is nephew or cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm's. That's where all his money came from." This quote is effective as we are told he apparently is related to a past evil dictator.
At the end of the novel we hear about the dreadful death of Gatsby. Nick tells us "nobody came" to his funeral. This is effective as we are prepared for this fact earlier in the novel at his first party in chapter 3. We are told that it was an "enthusiastic meeting between (people), who never knew each others names." This therefore shows that no one is actually interested with who is there, but they are only there to get drunk and enjoy themselves.
Throughout the novel we see that Gatsby is attracted himself towards the ‘green light' "which burns all night at the end of (daisy's) dock." This effective an a way as throughout the novel through the narrative and the use of symbolism we see Gatsby achieve the American dream by becoming successful and wealthy, but he has missed out on his main dream getting back Daisy. So therefore the American dream has deluded Gatsby and has been destructive in his case. Gatsby's death at the end of the novel symbolises this.
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