Explore How Fitzgerald Presents the Buchanans and Their World in Chapter 1 of ‘the Great Gatsby’ Through the Narration of Nick Caraway. to What Extent Can You Understand His Feelings of Confusion and Disgust?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By oliviapilling
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The first chapter of The Great Gatsby sees Nick Carraway attend dinner with the Buchanan’s having moved to New York recently from his mid western respectable country home. Fitzgerald constructs his character as a well spoken yet slightly snobbish young man who is “inclined to reserve all judgements”. However Fitzgerald presents Nick as an unreliable narrator, reflecting upon the events in the book remarking and judging all the other characters and their actions making Nick as bias as the rest of the Fitzgerald’s constructs. Therefore the reader is exposed to the post First World War America through Nicks bias eyes. The boundaries, rules and attitudes of Americans at this time were in change, with the constant aim in life to be having fun or making lots of money. The reader sees this attitude not only within Nick “I decided to go East and learn the bond business” but within Jordan Baker “we ought to plan something”. Within the first chapter of the novel the reader can empathise completely with Nicks feelings as he drives away from East Egg feeling confused and disgusted.

Characters within the first chapter, seen through Nicks judgement, are used by Fitzgerald to elicit a range of responses from the reader. Daisy Buchanan, Nick Caraways cousin is constructed as an innocent coquet with fairy like qualities. Daisy’s voice is mentioned many times, being a focal point of her overall description; she's said to have a “thrilling”, “glowing” voice which “compels” Nicks attention. Her physical appearance is “fluttering”, “charming” and men find her ‘hard to forget”, however Fitzgerald does present her as being manipulative; “she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her face” and Nicks feels as if the whole evening had been a “trick of some sort to exact a contributory emotion”. This juxtaposition within Daisy’s description could be a contributing factor into why Nick is…...

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