"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Essay by hotsauce464 May 2003

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David Lai



Period 7


Considered by some to be one of the greatest American novels of all time, F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" contains some of the most unique and interesting features, such as its narration form and literary techniques.

In this novel, Fitzgerald chooses one of his main characters to describe the scenes and action of this novel as he sees it. This person, Nick Carraway, is one of the most reliable narrators in literary history. He gives us his perspective of the story in first person limited, he knows only what he sees, what he describes to us.

To help the reader understand more clearly, Fitzgerald gives us a narrator who is impartial and observant. To account for this, the very first sentence in the book describes advice Nick says his father once gave him. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages you've had."

Nick, for the most part, lives up to this advice, he is "inclined to reserve all judgments." But there are times we find Nick passing judgment on some of the characters in this novel. For example, when Nick drives with Jordan Baker, he comments on her awful driving skills. He quotes, "You're a rotten driver. Either you ought to be more careful or you oughtn't to drive all."

In another instance, Nick compliments Gatsby saying, "They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." This statement held much significance for Nick. Aside from being the final thing he tells Gatsby, Nick says, "I've always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end."

Another interesting point of Nick's narration...