How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story in Chapter 1

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The purpose of chapter one, Fitzgerald introduces the reader the key theme of the novel, which will become prevalent throughout: the division between gender and social class. Furthermore, Fitzgerald introduces us to the major characters through Nick’s narration and perception. The first character we are introduced to is Nick Carraway, the narrator. The reader immediately knows that they are reading from his observation and perspective and so the novel is written through Nick’s memory. Fitzgerald aims to build a sense of trust and so portrays characters as well educated and enlightened, as such that Nick is ‘inclined to reserve all judgments’ and being ‘privy to the secret grief of wild, unknown men’. This forces the reader to trust Nick’s retrospective recollections; and the fact that the reader is aware of how his perceptions may have been altered by future knowledge or the erosion of memory through time indicates this memoir may be an edited version that is not completely reflective on the true events. Fitzgerald clearly sets the setting of the whole novel: the West Egg and East Egg, it is arguably said that it could be referred to the history of the Christopher Columbus story. This enhances the imagery of an egg as the start of a new life; Nick felt that ‘life was beginning over again’. Moreover, Fitzgerald allows Nick to point out the superficial similarities between the two communities, revealing differences gradually; extravagant wealthy people populate both Eggs and to the outsiders they are a source of ‘perpetual wonder’. Therefore Fitzgerald allows Nick to be accepted in both eggs to enable Nick to observe from both sides, as he is aware of the ‘bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them’. Another way Fitzgerald tells the story in Chapter One of The Great Gatsby is through Tom’s characterization. He is first described as ‘restless’,
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