Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gatsby: Where Tinsel Town and Tragedy Mingle

We have been studying the classic F Scott Fitzgerald novel, The Great Gatsby in fourth year. Our reading was enhanced by watching a few segments of the 1970s movie adaptation starring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford. Here are a couple of interesting, well-written essays by Alejandro from NI2B Thanks for the good work. I hope to post more.

Jay Gatsby seems to be a very mysterious figure in the book. Describe how this “hero” or “villan” develops as a character in the novel.

Many things are said about Gatsby in the novel. At the beginning of the novel, every reference about Gatsby is confused. People barely speak about him and when it happens, there are always short opinions or their conversations are interrupted. In this way, Gatsby´s figure is really mysterious. Reading forward you can find out why Gatsby is mysterious, nobody knows exactly who he is, he throws wild, raucous parties but he is often alone. People say a lot of different things about him. This “villain” could be a German spy, a killer, a bootlegger, a gambler... Others think he was in the American Army in the world, being a “hero.” Anyway, his figure is not clear at all.

As you carry on reading you realize he is not a bad person. Gatsby would do anything for love. His only aim is to be happy with Daisy.

I don´t really know if he is a villain or a hero, but as Nick says at the end of the novel, Gatsby believed in his dream. Everybody has a dream, and like Gatsby, we must all follow our dream wherever it takes us.

What is Nick Carraway´s role in the novel? How does he change as the story develops?

Although Nick develops a very passive role, I think he is the protagonist of the novel. He does not change anything in the book, he only tells us what is going on in the story. This is a good way to make and join different stories.

In spite of keeping this passive role, I think he´s the protagonist because it links the all figures. Apart from Nick´s role, I think there are different main characters in the novel (something like shared-main roles). Maybe, the most important of them is Gatsby´s one.

There are a few times when Nick does something important for the story. One of them is that he arranges a meeting with Gatsby and Daisy.

He could change the end of the book because he knew how Myrtle had really died, and he knew what Tom had told Wilson, but Nick did not tell anything to anybody. This further shows how incredibly passive Nick was in the novel.

Alejandro NI2

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