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...
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