The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Narrativve Voice

Objective: To analyse Nick's narrative voice and consider Fitzgerald's romantic modernist style.

We began the lesson by writing newspaper headlines, summarising chapter 1, such as:
'Tom's New Woman'
'Mysterious Gatsby'
'Nick and Miss Baker?'

Next we answered questions to recap on the first chapter:

What impression do you get of the Narrator of the story Nick?
- He is rather observant and also judgemental, although this is kept to himself.

Where does Nick move to in Chapter 1?
- West Egg.

Who does he visit in this chapter?
- His second cousin, Daisy, and friend Tom.

What kind of people are they?
- They are rich, flashy, rather egotistic people, with little bond between them.

Who does Nick see at the very end of the chapter? What is he doing?
- His neighbour, Mr Gatsby. He is standing, looking at the stars.

We then looked at the following statement, and came up with keywords to describe the kind of character we believe Nick is from the very beginning.

‘In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.'

- slightly wiser due to older age.
- over thinker.
- easily influenced.
- lack of independence as he is seeking advice.
- in need.
- patriarchal society as he admires the men in his world, such as his dad and Mr Gatsby.

We observed a statement which claimed that an authorial voice is a disliked one, because it takes away from the realistic illusion and emotional intensity. This is more commonly eliminated, as the action is now presented through the consciousness of the characters, by them fulfilling the narrative tasks.

Next we answered the following questions:

What does the beginning of the novel establish?
- It establishes the Narrator's voice, Nick, and his narrative style, which appears to be rather judgemental.

What kind of narrative voice are we presented with?
-A rather observant narrative voice, because although attempting to hold back from being judgemental, we are made aware of Nick's thoughts and ideas, mainly based on the other characters and the setting. Also, Nick is portrayed as a confidant, meaning he is reliable and rather trustworthy in a sense.

What is set up?
- It sets up some kind of curiosity as to who Mr Gatsby is, as he is portrayed as a rather desirable character, though we have not yet been introduced to him, creating a sense of mystery.

We then looked at two images, and described the differences between them.

The first image was of a man standing on a cliff and the setting was rather cloudy and floaty, and in the background were other cliffs. This image was rather calm, but also lonely. It left us with questions as to what the was thinking. Also, this image was rather soft, due to the light colours and floaty background.

The second image was of a city, full of buildings, a setting in America. This image was not so calm, but rather claustrophobic and chaotic. We were not focusing on an individuals, but felt as though there would have been many people within this image, as it appeared to be so busy. It was also rather dull due to the lack of colour or vibrancy.

Next we listened to two pieces of music.

We found that the first created suspense, as it was dramatic and consisted of different sounds. It also appeared to be rather chaotic as there was a lot going on within the music. It sounded rather eventful and therefore could be linked to the second image, as this too was rather busy and occupied.

The second piece of music was rather modernised. In different sections of the music, it built up tension, but breaking away from the previous, repetitive pattern within the music. It was also quite busy, and slightly overwhelming as it came across as rather strange.

We then listened to the two pieces at the same time, and found it to also be overwhelming, as there was so much going on, and the two different songs were loud and hectic together.

Nicholas Tredell explained romanticism to be: 'a cultural and artistic movement which valued imagination over intellect, feeling over reason, subjectivity over objectivity, extremism over moderation, ambiguity over clarity, and the quest for transcendence over the respect for its limits.’

In our own words, we described romanticism to be person feelings and your inner ideas, as well as your own imagination, as opposed to the actual answer or reality of a situation.

Then we focused on a sheet full of words and phrases from Chapter 1, and distinguished whether or not each word/phrase was a romantic one, or a modern one. We found that the majority were romantic.

The effect of combining both romantic and modern styles and imagery in Chapter 1 is a balancing one. This is because it allows readers to identify the passion coming from the narrator, and also displays the kind of character he is and what some of his interests are. But also provides realism to the readers, by including modern terms, which are more frequent. This allows readers to connect with the character when he is expressing his thoughts through romanticism, whilst demonstrating them with the surroundings and the current state of the settings within the novel.



  1. Great blog shaz!!:)
    The effect of the combination of romantic and modern styles and imagery, is that it shows the narrators personality to be romantic, but also beginning to get in touch with the modern world, as there are mentions of modernised ideas such as "petrol-pumps" and a "grass roller". Fitzgerald could be telling the story in this way in order to display the changing ideas within society during the time period the book was set in.

  2. Excellent blog!

    The effect of combining both Romaticism with modernism highlights modern concepts with romance. Fitzgerald's romantic and modern language engages readers and allows readers to gain an insight into the time Fitzgerald was writing (post-war).


  3. The effect of combining romantic and modern imaginery give us an insight into the revitalisation of civilisation after the great war. This, I believe, is an important statemennt made by Fitzgerald as it not only shows the freedom from oppression but also shows the blooming of a new age of innovative ideas. In addition to this the writing in this manner is a pure expression of post war periods showing the glamour and economic boost that surged through the lifestyles of many people during that time.


  4. the effect of the combination of romantic and modern styles gives us a more interesting view on the characters and world they live in as we view not only a contrast in writing but it reflects mind of nick and how he thinks as well as the two worlds the they live as one is is more machine e.g the city and the other more nature e.g west egg cool story bro

    tytytytytty tyrun

  5. The effect of combining romantic and modern styles of imagery in chapter 1 is that it helps the reader to imagine the era. It shows the coming of age of those years and how technology was changing and improving.


  6. thanks for the blog, helped me recap the lesson and helped me toanswer the question on the efefct of the combination of romantic and modern styles. i believe he uses the combination t obring romance into the modern age, and as a tool of making his story more interesting to fans of both romance and modern genre's

  7. Thank you Shazia, really detailed. The effect of the combination of romanticism and modern style is to create a new sort of writing, to attract newer audience. Fitzgerald writes in this new form, to show the reminiscence of the past and reality.
    Lisa (:

  8. Well done Shazia, another great blog with great detail. It's helped me to understand romantic and modernist language, which I struggle to distinguish differences between.
    I personally think that Fitzgerald uses the two simultaneously as it shows the reader the shift in society from harmony to a post war mechanical era.