How does Fitzgerald tell the story in Chapter six?
Arguably one of the most important aspects of narrative during chapter six is ‘narrative viewpoint’, in addition to ‘time and sequence’.
The novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ is written as though it is actually Nick who has crafted the novel, illuminating the reader with the dramatic happenings that occurred during the summer of 1922. As a partially involved character within the book, Nick forms his own personal opinions on the characters he interacts with and forms a strong friendship with his neighbour, Gatsby. It is due to Nick’s desire to convey a positive image of Jay Gatsby, the image which he himself withheld, that inclines him to vary from his use of chronological order during chapter six, suddenly adopting the use of anachrony by unexpectedly deviating from the main plot. During this sudden digression, Nick illuminates the reader with the life of James Gatz – Jay Gatsby’s former self – with the intention of ‘exploding those first wild rumours’. This variation in the order of events makes use of the aspect of narrative ‘time and sequence’. However, Nick’s account of how Gatsby met his ‘destiny’ in the form of Cody is questionable as he states that together Gatsby and Cody journeyed ‘three times around the continent’ within the space of five years; a concept that seems implausible. By explaining the alleged truth about Gatsby’s past - such a wildly imagined and crucial event – in an indirect way and through making obvious use of exaggeration, Gatsby and his past remain ambiguous, maintaining Fitzgerald’s structural device of arousing the reader’s interest in Mr Jay Gatsby.
Fitzgerald digresses once again at the end of the chapter, describing an evening Gatsby and Daisy once shared during 1917. Interestingly, Fitzgerald uses ellipses to move from the point in the story he is narrating, to the ‘autumn night five years before’ and does not incorporate a paragraph break; this keeps the two separate times in Gatsby’s...