Presentation of Marriage

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Critical Commentary on Chapter One of ‘The Great Gatsby’ * Nick Carraway and his function as narrator of Gatsby’s story Nick as a first person narrator – ambivalent character – aspires to fit in and be the man of the people, yet is often seen as too desperate and has distorted opinions Nick as a paradoxical character – Mass of contradictions

“unusually communicative in a reserve way”
“I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarely knew at all. cannot rely on Nick Carraway – audience are caution – Modernist technique – such a distancing stragety keeps readers on toes - fantastic enigma for Daisy-Gatsby relationship Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her an “irrevelant criticism” – dismissing herself - “Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window”. – One point of view – Nick – cryptogramatic - Isolation – cannot form a relationship “I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at everyone, and yet to avoid all eyes” – cannot trust his perspective – notes his role as a narrator “rush out of the house, child in arms” – melodramatic – giving the story an imaginary aspect * The presentation of Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker

Daisy can be read in two ways – trapped in her own life, being able to love two man, yet both men treat her as possessions / or she simply retreats and cocoons into comfort when things get tough The floaty light description to describe Jordan and Daisy – They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blow back in after a short flight around the house – Intangible and insubstantial – Room is superficial and light, just like their characterization. Daisy’s first line “I’m p-paralysed with happiness” draws attention. – “As if she said something very witty” – she did not say something witty, simply hollow and pretentious wit” “as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absesnce of all desire” already have everything – never engage in a personal/emotional level. So self sufficient, yet connected with wealth – do not care about others – completely detached Daisy as an illusion – Daisy appears to be a romantic image – romantic affection, yet not substantiated, likened to AD – “her voice compelled me forward” Daisy and Tom’s relationship – pragmatic about each other – Marriage is money and the American Dream – how romantic is the American Dream? – “I saw the turbulent emotions possed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.” – Daisy is disturbed. – “that’s the best thing a gir can be in this world, a beautiful little fool – better to be brainless and pretty – life will be easier instead of painful. Nick realizising Jordan Baker – cares about status – ambivalent perception – “Jordan Baker” contradictory – name after two cars – seeing arrogance in a positive or negative light – “a critica, unpleasant story, but what it was I had forgotten long ago” – chooses to forget – being selective in what he remembers – how true and valid is this story or his narrative Our “white” girlhood – our beautiful white – Southern aristocracy – white supremacy – mocking Tom – “Louisville” based on slavery and the policy of Apartheid Daisy: “flower-like”

* The presentation of Tom Buchanan
Buchanan – WASPs? – American aristocrats
It was a body capable of enormous leverage - a cruel body” – anticipates “It belonged to Demaine, the oil man.” – taking material riches from natural land resources “Civilation’s going to pieces” – context which Fitz disapproved amidst people like Tom – control of conversation – prejudice nonsense “It’s all scientic stuff; it’s been proved” – “Oh, science and art, and all that” - ]irony] lno detail, lack of understanding or culture – Broad perspective of the novel – instinctively oppresses people, such as he ran out of people to bully – Calling Jordan a “nice” girl – double standrads – running around with...
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