Comparison of the Narators of the Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness

Topics: Roaring Twenties, Narrative, The Great Gatsby Pages: 3 (1313 words) Published: May 23, 2013

The Effect of the Narrators in the Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness on the Audience The narrator has a crucial role in the development of a story. The manner in which the narrator provides the information from their perspective has a major influence on how the audience perceives those in the story. It is important for the audience to recognize the narrative style being used in order to know whether or not to fully believe what they hear. The author uses the narrator to give the reader the message he or she is trying to deliver, in the way they find most influential. In the Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness the narrators of each are similar in structure and use but have a different effect on the audience. Nick Carraway is a first person narrator; however he is more of an observer and not essential to the main storyline. Therefore as an audience you feel as if you are witnessing from afar what happens. Marlow on the other hand is directly in the centre of the major events so his perspective has a greater effect on the audience. The character of Marlow is vital to the storyline along with the events that occur between Marlow and Kurtz, whereas with Nick, the events between himself and Gatsby are far less instrumental to the storyline than those between Gatsby and Daisy, or Gatsby and Tom. In each of the two novels both narrators are retelling the story of a character through their own eyes. In The Great Gatsby, Nick is telling the story of a man named Gatsby who tried to live out the American dream and how his dreams only brought about his downfall. The same goes for Heart of Darkness where Marlow tells the story of a man named Kurtz who gave in to the primitive side and how his beliefs caused him to go mad, bringing about his death. Nick idolized Gatsby and what he stood for even though most of the time he thought Gatsby a fool. At the start Marlow was fascinated by Kurtz and idolized him. He went so far as almost becoming him but then realized that Kurtz was...
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