Great Gatsby: How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story in Chapter 1

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In Chapter One we were introduced to the story’s narrator, Nick; the section that introduces him allows us to better understand his character and therefore understand the way he presents the story throughout the novel. We get a better idea of why he includes and excludes certain details. By giving us an introduction into Nick’s life Fitzgerald uses character to tell the story. Already in the opening section we learn that he is from a privileged background, from his mentioning of this we can assume that this has vital influence on his views and opinions. “... all the people in the world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” “My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations.” The fact that he comes from ‘old money’ holds great importance to the whole story: His interest in Gatsby could be to do with his fascination in his ability to of independently built himself up, where he is unable to do this himself. He also says that people view him as a confidant – which he dislikes; this allows the reader to consider that his reason for distancing people stems from this fear of intimacy. “Most of the confidences were unsought – frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon...” The story is told entirely through Nick’ point of view, he is a homodiagetic narrator, which means he is a character within the story that he is telling. In the opening he presents his perceived personality to the reader. He thinks of himself as having a passive and impartial personality which leads the reader to assume that his role as the narrator will reflect this personality, however although his passive nature holds true, he is not impartial as he is often inclined to pass judgement onto almost everyone he meets. Fitzgerald also uses foreshadowing
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