Chapter 2-the Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, United States Pages: 2 (541 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Chapter 2
In chapter two of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses many methods of narrative. In this essay I will analyse three: Character, Setting and Voice each in detail. In the opening sentence of chapter 2, Fitzgerald uses imagery to create a setting of almost like a limbo with never-ending roads and barren land. This theme continues throughout the first setting in the chapter. “This is the valley of ashes-a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges” Fitzgerald uses the word ‘ashes’ twice which re-inforces how dead and desolate the ‘valley of ashes’ is. Secondly, Fitzgerald uses an oxymoron with the connotations of ‘ash’ and ‘wheat’: death and life. This is like a microcosm of the fact that many people (in the book) came to New York to achieve ‘The American Dream’ and many failed. However, it could also represent Gatsby and how there are hints in the book that he came from nothing but has worked his way to the top. In chapter 2, Fitzgerald introduces a few new characters to the reader. The character that stood out most for me was Myrtle. Myrtle is Toms mistress and is characterized as the complete opposite as Daisy. She is described with a ‘thickish figure’, ‘sensuously’ and ‘smouldering’, whereas Daisy is slender, kind and loving. Further on in the scene, Myrtle changes her outfit quite often. “Mrs Wilson had changed her costume” The word ‘costume’ suggests that Myrtle is just playing a part in her own fairytale with Tom. It is ironic because the reader later learns that Tom has no interest in Myrtle apart from her being a distraction. Also, the quality of her dresses as we read deeper into the scene become more and more rich as the first dress is described as ‘crepe-de-chine’, the second is ‘muslim’ and the final dress is ‘chiffon’. She changes her ‘costume’ to give people the impression that she is wealthy because it is the life that she wants to live. Lastly, the use of ‘Mrs Wilson’ instead of Myrtle infers that is more important than...
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