An Expository Esssay On The First 3 Chapters Of 'the Great Gatsby'

918 words - 4 pages

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's use of language and symbolism forces readers to interpret different events in different ways, as well as think about what they have read. He builds his characters in a way which causes most readers to form similar opinions of them, creates complex relationships between the characters as well as uses descriptive language which forces us to construe events in our own way instead of simply listening to recounted proceedings. Fitzgerald's personal opinions on issues of the time also come into the novel, without disturbing the flow of the story. The Great Gatsby is not merely a recount of events, but also a rich source of language and symbolism with a clever development of characters and their relationships.

One of the most obvious and important parts of Fitzgerald's novel is his introduction of Nick, and ascertaining Nick's place as the just and trustworthy storyteller. Fitzgerald deliberately creates an element of trust from the start of the novel through quoting Nick's father's advice, warning him against being judgmental; "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in the world haven't had the advantages you've had ". Nick then proceeds to say that he is now 'inclined to reserve all judgment', but that it can often be difficult and he questions his own honesty. Fitzgerald has also ensured that Nick is in several ways the 'middle man' of the book; he comes from a middle class background which is neither 'new' or 'old money'; he has an equilibrium of character which is neither the rough, blunt nature of Tom Buchanan or the more subtle and evasive nature of Gatsby; he is the listener of the book who attempts to find out all the facts before making judgement.

Another key aspect of F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing is his use of symbolism as an underlying meaning to the text. An example of this is can be seen when the description of the Valley of Ashes and the large face on a billboard. This description is making a statement about the religion of the twenties. Before the time in which The Great Gatsby is set, religion had always been a very important and impacting part of people's lives. The billboard is symbolising that God is watching; but instead of the ideas of the true God taught by the bible it is representing a materialistic God and the worship of money which came with the twenties. The American Dream brought this idea of money being everything. Another interesting feature of The Great Gatsby is the way event and places are described. The author has not...

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