“the Great Gatsby” Commentary - Opening Passage in Chapter Iv

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 3 (1031 words) Published: August 14, 2011
The opening excerpt from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, “The Great Gatsby” in chapter four puts emphasis on Gatsby’s mysterious character and listing all the name of the wealthiest people that were invited to Gatsby’s party that “summer” (9). In the first part of the passage, the guests invited to the party are described as shallow for having no knowledge about Gatsby but only taking advantages from the party. It shows that the guests lack moral compassion and a subtle care for Gatsby, spreading rumors about how he has “killed a man”(5) and being cousins with a “devil” (6). The second part moves along to the names listed from the wealthy class of society of the West and East Egg which lacks the moral of society alike one of the guest who has “killed himself” (44) and another who “strangled” (34) his wife. This shows the moral decay in the upper class and how they are unhappy with what they have, in relation to Gatsby’s discontent of his life because of his longing for Daisy. Fitzgerald distinctly illustrates Gatsby’s mysterious past through the gossip between the “young ladies.” (4) The author also portrays the names listed as ignorant and unsatisfied with their life through Nick’s eyes by the use of symbolism and characterization of names from the East and West Egg.

Through the gossips and rumors in the first part of the passage that were spread out by the “ladies” (4) about Gatsby’s past, Fitzgerald successfully portrays and emphasizes Gatsby’s suspicious character. This helps develop more curiosity for Nick Carraway and the readers by depicting the dialogues through nameless minor characters. It helped developed the plot quickly as to when the readers read the first paragraph of the passage, they will quickly understand the ignorant guests that attend the parties but do not even make an effort to know the host. The rumors of Gatsby “killing a man” (5) further developed the limited knowledge of Gatsby’s character through the eyes of many characters especially...
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