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Narrative Techniques Used by Fitzgerald Essay

Fitzgerald uses a variety of techniques throughout the novel to draw in the reader into the story, in Chapter 2 there is a lot of evidence of these techniques being used and the way Fitzgerald uses them in exploring the chapter, such as pathetic fallacy, symbolism, narrative technique and shock. Also, the theme that runs throughout the novel is contrasts of class in society, which is clearly shown to reader in the example of Wilson being manipulated and controlled Tom Buchanan’s ‘supercilious’ manner, this is shown by the action of which Tom attacked Myrtle, his mistress, at the end of the chapter.

Fitzgerald uses pathetic fallacy at the very start of the chapter to portray the narrator’s mood and emotions at the time, such as ‘grey land’, ‘bleak dust’, ‘dimmed’, ‘paint less days’, ‘small foul river’ and ‘dismal scene’. Fitzgerald possibly uses this to reflect Nick’s mood in having to have lunch with Tom Buchanan who he clearly shows to the reader is dislike towards this character, or even indicating to the reader the unwanted meeting with Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Fitzgerald perhaps uses this to interest the reader into questioning the reference to the weather and the setting at the start of the chapter in relation to Nick’s emotions and asks why does Nick feel so ‘grey’, ‘bleak’ and just generally gloomy and negative towards this event as an introduction to Chapter 2.

Another technique Fitzgerald uses in Chapter 2 is symbolism; he uses the character, Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, to symbolise a respected person looking down at society, or even an object always present in some of the scenes throughout the novel, witnessing the events that occur; ‘the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic.’ His role isn’t an actual character in the story but more of an object, however, Fitzgerald must find his role relevant to mention Doctor Eckleburg in the book therefore indicating to the reader his importance in the novel.

A different way in which Fitzgerald uses to tell the story in Chapter 2 is of how Fitzgerald tells the event of which Tom Buchanan hits Myrtle, it generates shock and surprise to the reader, especially how Fitzgerald decides to tell of this event through the narrator Nick. ‘Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.’ This sentence is structured as short because it describes a huge shocking action that is much of a unthinkable situation: a man abusing a woman. So Fitzgerald manipulates the surprising action by making impact on the sharpness of the short description of this, contrasting to Fitzgerald’s other descriptions to events and settings which he tells to the reader in great amounts of detail with poetic and romantic language, in order to contribute in creating a great impact of horror/tragedy felt by the reader of this event.

A different narrative technique the author uses to tell the story in this chapter is that the narrator is drunk and attempts to remember his movements. However, Fitzgerald uses the fact of which Nick is intoxicated by manipulating the narration. For example, ‘…I was standing beside his bed and he was sitting up between the sheets clad in his underwear, with a great portfolio in his hands.’ This description is a quite unique way of narrating the story, even ending the chapter; however it makes Nick’s story more realistic and authentic by telling it in this way, the reader can clearly imagine Nick’s night in their head by how Fitzgerald decides to tell this event.

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