Great Gatsby helpHi folks, I'm new to this forum so high to everyone.  I'm currently undertaking a literature course and decided to read The Great Gatsby.  My tutor has asked me to make some...

Great Gatsby help

Hi folks,

I'm new to this forum so high to everyone.  I'm currently undertaking a literature course and decided to read The Great Gatsby.  My tutor has asked me to make some notes about the book concentrating on theme and style (language, dialogue, description, structure), etc..  I feel confortable enough to write about themes with the novel however not sure about the rest.

Can anyone give me some pointers on where to begin.




Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would suggest that you pay special attention to Nick Carraway as narrator. Chapter I establishes Nick as a Midwesterner who brings Midwestern values into the novel as he observes life in the East. Nick tells the story in the retrospective point of view, also. He has been through the experience, it has affected him profoundly, and he tells the story after choosing to come back home.

The structure of the novel is complex and interesting. As he looks back, Nick tells the story in chronological order, but the chronology is interrupted with passages of antecedent action, facts Nick learns from the other characters. These passages, however, are not included chronologically in the text. We learn Gatsby's real life story in bits and pieces and out of order. The final piece of the puzzle isn't revealed until the end of the novel. Throughout the novel, we have to separate the rumors about Gatsby from the facts. He is never described in great physical detail, but his personality and basic character are explored in great deal, eventually.

In terms of language and style, Fitzgerald is noted for his evocative style, rich in description and figurative language. Also, color motifs are present, especially in terms of white, gold, silver, and green. Passages of superb description can be found throughout the book. Some that come immediately to mind are the descriptions of Gatsby's party in Chapter III and Nick's recollection of going home for the holidays while in college (Chapter IX). The closing paragraphs of the novel are especially beautifully rendered.

Good luck. You have chosen a great novel to study.

thegreatestgatsby | Student


teedlebeedle | Student

Hi to all. I'm new to this. I'm taking a college-level literature class. I was told to read the Great Gatsby & I have questions to answer about it. I don't really understand what many of them are asking me, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

hgirlie | Student

I need to find out the chronological order of the book the Great Gatsby I know the actual events start in Chapter 9 but im not sure about the rest any help?

studentel | Student

For structure you could talk about how only chapter 2 is in chronological order. How the comparisons can be drawn between the party at the apartment and Gatsby's party. How in chapter 2 sudden violence is the climax of the chapter.

For description you could talk about how Nick describes certain characters and how this reveals how he portrays them. For example Gatsby is described in detail and Nick talks about his eyes, this could effect how we feel about Gatsby. Undeveloped characters such as the people we meet breifly in chapter two are unimportant in Nicks eyes and due to that they are forgotten quickly. Or the description Nick puts into settings. Chapter 2 - Valley of Ashes is a good example of this.

For dialogue you could talk about direct speech, indirect speech, free speech and attributed, and how increases authenticity, or decreases reliability. Or talk about the ways in which the lines are delievered, E.g her 'Thrilling voice' this reveals lots about the character too.

There's a few pointers, hope that helps.

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The Great Gatsby

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