Style and Technique (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
Fitzgerald’s direct narrative style is as clear and straightforward as Dexter’s romantic purpose. The flashbacks and gaps in the story mirror Dexter’s on-again, off-again affair with Judy, though his unswerving obsession with her and the chronicle of it is emphasized here. Fitzgerald’s tale uses poetic language and diction, yet it does not imply more than it states, and, in the story’s episodic structure of fits and starts, it is loose enough to accommodate some things that are almost irrelevant. Dexter’s business success, for example, is fortuitous; the real attraction and attention of the protagonist and the reader is his private life.
The third-person limited omniscient point of view allows the reader to know Dexter’s story exclusively through Dexter’s thoughts and reactions to what is happening. It is necessary to remember that Dexter is a romantic idealist and that his temperament is responsible for both his idealization of Judy and his subsequent disillusionment.
Dexter’s enchantment with Judy and the vitality he draws from her are symbolized by the color and sparkle Fitzgerald uses to present her and to create a context in which Dexter can contemplate her. When he first sees her as a young woman, Dexter notices the blue gingham edged with white that shows off Judy’s tan; then, later in the afternoon, the sun is sinking “with a riotous swirl of gold and varying blues and scarlets” and Dexter swims among waters of...
(The entire section is 419 words.)
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Compare and Contrast
Topics for Further Study
What Do I Read Next?
Bibliography and Further Reading
Bibliography (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
Berman, Ronald. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001.
Berman, Ronald. “The Great Gatsby” and Fitzgerald’s World of Ideas. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Jay Gatsby. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004.
Bruccoli, Matthew J., ed. New Essays on “The Great Gatsby.” Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Bruccoli, Matthew J., ed. Some Sort of Epic Grandeur. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981.
(The entire section is 236 words.)