The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Why Does Fitzgerald Reveal The Truth About Gatsby's Background

In Chapter Six, why does Fitzgerald reveal the truth about Gatsby's background at this particular point in the novel?

Nick's explanation of why he reveals the truth about Gatsby's background at this point in the novel is also Fitzgerald's explanation. This section of the text represents a lull in the action between the intensity of Daisy and Gatsby reuniting and the dramatic ending of the novel.

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In chapter six, Nick Carraway offers an explanation for inserting Gatsby's backstory here. He states:

He told me all this very much later, but I’ve put it down here with the idea of exploding those first wild rumors about his antecedents, which weren’t even faintly true. Moreover he told it to me at a time of confusion, when I had reached the point of believing everything and nothing about him. So I take advantage of this short halt, while Gatsby, so to speak, caught his breath, to clear this set of misconceptions away.

This is Nick speaking, not Fitzgerald, but it works as an explanation of Fitzgerald's decision to explain Gatsby's background here and not somewhere else.

The novel up until this point has been building to the crescendo of Daisy and Gatsby reuniting. Tom 's infidelity is the rationale for Daisy embarking on the affair, while most of Gatsby's actions, such as buying a mansion and throwing his wild parties, have been explained by his pursuit of Daisy. All of this has lead up to...

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volleybree123 | Student

Fitzgerald decided this time to tell about Gatsbys past because he wanted to put all of the rumors that have been told about him at rest. People have been saying he was a murderer, a German spy, in a Mob, etc. Now, he has decided that he has gone long enough without telling the truth. Also, it comes up again later in the book...