How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story of Chapter One in the Great Gatsby

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Abby Harper

How does F. Scott Fitzgerald tell the story in chapter one in The Great Gatsby?

Fitzgerald tells the story of chapter one in The Great Gatsby by introducing ‘Nick Carraway’ as the first person narrative, telling the story in the past tense. The first chapter of the book make the readers have an instant realisation that it is a ‘novel writing about a novel’ as the narrator says “Only Gatsby, the man who gave his name to this book”. This suggests that Nick is very self-conscious about the fact that he is writing this book. Fitzgerald establishes Nick to be an almost invisible character that sees everything but is “Inclined to reserve all judgements”. But later in the chapter, after Nick has given his self-evaluation, Fitzgerald creates irony from Nick saying after “a sense of fundamental decencies is parcelled out at birth”. This contradiction makes the readers think that Nick is a unreliable narrator. Fitzgerald lays the foundations of the book being a love story and also a domestic drama in the first chapter. This is because of the relationship between Tom and Daisy, it has its flaws, making the novel seem like it is a domestic drama, this is explained when they say “Tom has some woman in New York” which means that Tom has a mistress. The love story would be because of the love between everyone and Gatsby, which seems to be an underlying theme in the first chapter, which they all keep coming back too. Nick describes Gatsby as having “something gorgeous about him” which suggests that Nick looks up to Gatsby as an inspirational character in the novel. There is also the reaction from daisy when Gatsby’s name is mentioned “Gatsby?” demanded Daisy. “What Gatsby?” and Gatsby is seen to reach towards the green light (the end of Daisy’s dock) at the end of the chapter, making the readers question their past relationship. The setting is a relevant part of the first chapter, the difference between West Egg and East Egg. The East Egg being the more...
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