The Great Gatsby
"For a moment he looked at me… I will rejoin you later ". (p54-55, chap 3) "The Great Gatsby" was published in 1925 and F. Scott Fitzgerald considered it as his masterpiece. It is one of the four most important novels he produced including "This Side of Paradise" (1920), "The Beautiful and the Damned" (1924) and "Tender is the Night" (1934). T.S Elliot called it "the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James". It embodies the roaring 1920s also named the Jazz Age. Nevertheless, Fitzgerald’s work can be said as an autobiographical one. This excerpt which narrates Nick Carraway’s first encounter with Gatsby who had sent him an invitation to his party begins with a misunderstanding. As a matter of fact, they are neighbors and Nick had caught a sight of Gatsby previously from his house and heard gossips about him. He was quite excited at the idea of meeting his mysterious man, but when speaking with him that evening, Nick does not recognize him. The following commentary falls into three parts, the first one dealing with Nick as a character-narrator in the plot. I shall then show that this excerpt introduces Gatsby as both a nice fellow and an ambiguous self-made man.
What can be said about Nick as a narrator in the plot is linked to his personal vision of the world. On one hand, at the beginning of the novel, he describes himself as an example of moral rectitude but on the other hand as a bond salesman who is in search of profit and we can notice that he is attracted by the ostentatious easy money spread out by Gatsby. So, we doubt that he can be a reliable narrator. In this extract, it is clear that he is fascinated by Gatsby. "He smiled understandingly… to believe in yourself" reflects his partial opinion. But, he tries in the following description to restrain what he does not want us to understand "and I was looking… his words with care". In this part, he shows that Gatsby does not feel comfortable when speaking with his...
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