The Great Gatsby - Notes on Chapter 1

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The Great Gatsby: Chapter 1:

Fitzgerald opens his novel by introducing Nick Carraway, the story's narrator. Nick has, by his own admission, come "back from the East last autumn," jaded and embittered by his experiences there. The reader knows immediately that the story has already taken place and that Nick is telling it to us through the filter of time. He is distanced from the events at hand and is recounting them by way of memory. It is imperative that readers trust him, then, because time can distort memories, and the reception to the story hinges largely on his impartiality and good judgment. Structure:

Beginning- references to Nick's past- primarily introduces him as narrator- then goes on to comment on Gatsby- potential order of importance?

Introduces Tom and Daisy- good and smooth lead on to first part of story- enunciates Nick as a natural story teller

''Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven—a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anti-climax.''

Past to present- Chronological
–'' I lived at West Egg, the—well, the less fashionable of the two, '' – '' “I’m p-paralyzed with happiness.” She laughed again, as if she said something very witty, and held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see. ''

– Initial meeting with Jordan- leaves that introduction until later- does not consider her important- although potentially the most vital thing in his life – Foreshadowing of tragedy to come- Daisy's distress- Tom's mistress- Gatsby's mysterious nature- sets the scene and initialises characters- first impressions are important

Setting:

– Beginning of Nick's life- and his story- in Mid West- moved East to West Egg- less fashionable of the two 'Eggs'- looking for prosperity-...
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