Fitzgerald's Suspenseful Technique Of Delaying The Introduction Of Gatsby In His Novel, The Great Gatsby

1348 words - 5 pages

Many novels introduce the ‘main character’ to the reader early in the chapter so that the reader could get a good feel of the character but Fitzgerald’s style in The Great Gatsby is somehow different. As the title suggests the novel revolves around the life of a man named Gatsby which we meet as late as the third chapter of the book which in a mysterious way is very effective than to have met the protagonist in the first chapter. However we get many different information and gain knowledge from second hand sources which are the people surrounding Gatsby and thus, create a ‘Gatsby’ of our own until we meet him. Fitzgerald gives off bits of information here and there using little description of Gatsby’s action and movement, rumors, Gatsby’s appearance and habits, party scenes and his wealth to establish a mystery around Gatsby and continues to do so in order to prolong the enigma and excitement around Gatsby. Since the reader sees everything through Nick’s eyes we only see Gatsby from a distance in chapter 1, hear unverifiable information about him and observe the party scenes in chapter 2 until Nick meets him in chapter 3 where we also meet him for the first time. So by the time we meet Gatsby we already have our own impression of him from all the stories and fictions that we have heard. The delay meeting adds to the mystery of who the ‘Great’ Gatsby is.

Nick establishes the difference between the West egg and East egg where he states that the West egg, where he recently moves to, is the less fashionable of the two. After making this remark he describes the mansion next to his house (which he believes belongs to a man named Mr. Gatsby) to be an imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy with unbelievably luxurious accommodates. Gatsby’s extravagant mansion marks him to be a ‘new rich’ and a man of great wealth. We also get the gist that Gatsby was not born rich but has made his way through and have accumulated his money. Even though Gatsby’s appearance is what Nick contempt his curiosity gets the better of him starting from the time he sees a man coming out in the lawn (page 25) “Something in his leisurely movements and the secure position of his feet upon the lawn suggested that it was Mr. Gatsby himself, come out to determine what share was his of our local heavens.” Fitzgerald uses Gatsby’s appearance to describe how elegant, gracious and sophisticated Gatsby is. If the way he moves his feet is that describable then his wholeness is something ‘out of the world’. He also portrays him as a godlike person who as we thought was not a normal person but a great one that has a greater purpose than to determine where he fits in the society for he hold greater shares or even a piece of heaven. Nick also says that Gatsby was reaching out to a green light and nothing else which depicts Gatsby as a man on determination. Nick continues to wonder who Mr. Gatsby is when he sees the huge, elaborate and expensive parties that Gatsby throws...

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