F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “The Great Gatsby,” in 1926, however he set it in the summer of 1922, or as he christened it, the Jazz age. Through the way Gatsby is perceived we can see Fitzgerald’s ideas on the American dream and the effects it has on those who chase it. I chose this question as it relates strongly to how my views towards Gatsby change as the novel proceeds. Fitzgerald achieves this alter in feelings through his writing style, the theme of the novel and his use of narration.
My initial feelings for Gatsby were ambivalent. He is dishonest and shallow. This superficiality can be shown in the dream he holds of the perfect life with money, Daisy and no cares in the world. However, his dream reveals how determined and stubborn he is, as that he will not stop pursuing it. What truly changed my opinion on Gatsby was the act of chivalry he performed in accepting the responsibility of Myrtle’s death. This to me is the pinnacle of admiration for Gatsby as ultimately, he gave his own life for Daisy’s.
One way in which Fitzgerald achieves this gradually change in opinion is through his use or narration. By using Nick Carraway as his reliable reporter of events, Fitzgerald creates an honest and truthful narrator for the readers. Nick himself says, “ I am one of the few honest people I have ever known.” Through this we can see the true opinion of nick on Gatsby and as his views changed, my admiration grew with his.
Nick originally states in the first chapter that Gatsby represents everything for which he has, “an unaffected scorn,” Planting the seed on which my opinion of Gatsby grew. I saw little admiration for the so called, “Great Gatsby,” with a somewhat negative view on the man. However, only a few lines later, Nick states that he was, “an extraordinary gift for hope,” and that, ”Gatsby turned out alright in the end.” This shows Nick’s feelings for Gatsby are mixed and through this confusion of thoughts my admiration had already grown as a consequence of the fact that Nick himself had a hidden admiration for Gatsby.
During one of the key scenes in the novel in the ------ hotel, Nick, his narration and point of view once again allow more of an insight to Gatsby, which allows my admiration to grow. If not for Nick, and his input in the events, many people would see Gatsby as a sly shallow liar who invents stories merely to entertain acquaintances. Instead of this however, nick says,
“I had one of those renewals of complete faith in him that I’d experienced before.”
This sentence shines a different light on Gatsby, one which shows how in love, how determined and how admirable Gatsby truly is. He refuses to let Tom Buchanan walk all over him even when he knows there is no hope of gaining Daisy anymore. Without Nick’s...