What techniques does Fitzgerald use in the first chapter of The Great Gatsby?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In allowing the reader to see life in East Egg through Nick's eyes, Fitzgerald is able to create a perception that allows life to be seen through a key hole that allows greater understanding to actually emerge.  Nick's role as the confident or the type of person that individuals take into full confidence is something that allows a sense of the transparent to emerge.  The reader understands that Nick's views are going to be completely transparent and clear.  This means that the world of wealth and privilege will be viewed without any prisms or glasses, but rather as to how it is.  When Nick recalls his father's words about how "all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had," it helps to show how Nick is distinct from this world and yet a part of it.  Fitzgerald's use of Nick as the narrator allows the reader to "go undercover" in this world, able to see this setting in both its stunning grandeur and what will be shown as its equally stunning hollowness.  Nick being the narrator is the filter through which both the worlds of East Egg and Fitzgerald's own state of being can be revealed.

mariaantonieta | Student

  The narrative techniques used by Fitzgerald in the first chapter include the use of a narrator-protagonist.In this case, the narrator, one of the characters-Nick, tells the story from his point of view and he has a limited range of knowledge.The reader discovers the story at the same time as the narrator who uses the first person singular "I". To catch the readers attention, the author uses, apart from Nick's thought, dialogues and character analysis.The latter is used to prove through examples and images, the personality of the characters. This characterization uses devices as descrition, contrast, similitude and the atmosphere.

The style of the narrative includes images, symbols and the choice of sentence structure.In this case, te author uses sound and visual images and the structure of the sentences are combined between complex and simple sentences according to the effect Fidgerald wants to produce on the reader.

Contrast are important in this chapter and all through the novel. One of the most evident is the contrast between life and tradition in the Mid West and lack of values and emptiness in West and East Eggs.

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The Great Gatsby

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