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?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Great Gatsby: Narration and Portrayal of Nick

So in this lesson we focused mainly on the characterisation of Nick and how he tells the story in The Great Gatsby. We also looked at how romantic images, motifs, symbols and ideas are combined with modern styles. We gathered that this use of modern style mixed with romanticism interrupts the narrative and shows corruption of the modern world on romance.

We then moved onto our analysis of chapter two where we made some headlines to summarise: "TOM BREAKS MISTRESSES NOSE".

Analysing nick as a character we found him to be quite judgemental and contradictory, which we found is reflected in the way he tells the story. Like in chapter two when Nick is drunk we suddenly find him calling Ms Wilson by her first name, Myrtle, this expresses nick unreliability when telling the story and gives us an insight into Nicks complex character.

We also looked at a significant quote from nick that pretty much summarises nicks character and his narrative manner at the same time in chapter 2 (page 24).

"I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life"

This quote bring us to see the complexities of Nicks character and links very nicely with the way that we have to remember that nick is telling the story from a retrospective point of view however we often find him switching frames - from being a homodiegetic narrator speaking concurrently, to almost as a hetrodiegetic narrator, retrospectively reporting what is going on. i.e. "Gatsby turned out alright in the end" even though at that point of the story he hasn't even met Mr Gatsby yet.

We then looked at the role of the narrator.

David lodge, The Art of Fiction.

"The choice of the point of view from which the story is told…fundamentally affects the way readers will respond, emotionally and morally, to the fictional character and their actions."

The narrator is used to:
•Present information.

The narrator may also:
•Comment and judge (used by Fitzgerald)
•Directly address the reader
•Be a participant in the story (used by Fitzgerald)
•Be a detached observer (used by Fitzgerald)
•Be ‘transparent’, appearing to speak with the voice of the author

We then looked at the advantages and disadvantages of first person narrative

•Emotional involvement
•A sense of immediacy
•We can identify with narrator

•We only get one viewpoint
•We don't get to see everything

From this we found that Fitzgerald has modified the first person narrative that nick portrays and very smartly makes Nick's character have knowledge of other people and events as well as other characters giving information during dialogue. This allows the reader to have a wider view of the diegesis world that Fitzgerald has created in a way that works around the disadvantages of first person narrative.



  1. comment on this damn blog with character/narritve sheet

  2. read chapter 3

  3. watch video with bold man (W:\English\ENGLISH MR SADGROVE\Year 12\Gatsby videos\VIDEO_TS) even though i dont think it works.


  1. Me and Eddie discussed quotes 9,10 and 11 on the character/narrative sheet and found:

    9) Character: Nick is shy, private, observant but doesn't want others to see this, and he implies that he is uncomfortable("wanting to look squarely at everyone, and yet avoid all eyes")

    Narrator:Nick is being more of a narrator, and looking back retrospectively.

    10) Character: syntax- the explanation of where he is is dark/ concealed, just like where he is describing. At this point Nick is also being judgmental

    Narrator: More narrative, shows contrast between "sumptuous and romantic apartments" and "concealed overhead"

    11) Character: Nick appears to be a serious character as has only been drunk twice in his life.

    Narrator: Nick is more narrative here, and seems as though he is about to launch into a retrospective account.


  2. quote 13) 'Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.'

    Character: this quote states that everyone has at least one good quality. Although it is not clarified by Nick, we can assume he has been let down a lot in the past, as he implies he has met few honest people.

    Narrator: This quote suggests that Nick would like readers to believe is both a reliable and trustworthy narrator. Also, this quote suggests the narrator feels the other characters can be decieving, and therefore this quote acts as a warning to readers.


  3. Quote 5. Character: Nick is comfortable with himself and his surroundings, but has no sence of direction in his mind or reality.

    Narrator: Nick Dominates as a Narrator and has an understanding of what he wants to say Compared to his character. It's almost like they are two different characters.

    Quote 6. Narrator: Nick is able to control and maintain his confusion with his surroundings, making him a powerful narrator for the story.

    YAAAY! Jack.

  4. quote 7) 'Instead of being the warm centre of the world, the Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe - so I decided to go East and learn the bond business.'

    Character - this quote shows Nick's versatility by deciding to move East and try to learn something new.

    Narrator - this quote sees Nick presenting himself as rather confident, purposely provoking readers to ask questions. Why would he show a sudden interest in the bond business? What else could there be?

    quote 8)'It was Gatsby's mansion. Or, rather, as I didn't know Mr. Gatsby, it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name.'

    Character - Nick portrays himself as quite distant and cold here. His backtrack on addressing Gatsby suggests a blunt attitude and a rather sharp tongue about Nick. He lets it be known in a clever way that he lacks knowledge about Gatsby, however his bluntness about it shows that this bothers him.

    Narrator - Nick as a narrator is judgemental of Gatsby, and his lack of knowledge leads him to speak in a malicious manner.


  5. quote 13 'every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: i am one of the few honest people that i have ever known'

    character - Nick shows he knows himself and can be trusted, he understands people as they trust him. He may also not believe that himself as he only 'suspects' not states in a way

    narrator - nick as a narrator seems to believe that he is trust worthy even though through the story its seems hard to tell.

    maannnns is a badmanan ty game dropper number one send me the hotties number famo

  6. Quote 14- Reading over what I have written so far, I see I have given the impression that the events of three nights several weeks apart were all that absorbed me.

    Narrator- Nick as a narrator here believes that he is quite knowledgable and wise, he also is involving readers here and is making judgements on our opinions.

    Character- Nick is quite self consious and weary about himself, and is desperate to make perhaps a good impression. He is giving a realisation that he thinks we understand him and have judged him

    Well written blog by the way :D

    Alia x

  7. Good blog eddie, the reminder of nicks little giveaways into his innermost character were valuable for reading chapter 3.


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