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How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story in Chapter 2? Essay Sample

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How Does Fitzgerald Tell the Story in Chapter 2? Essay Sample

In chapter 2 Tom takes Nick to the Valley of Ashes where he meets Myrtle and is taken to their New York apartment. Once there he meets friends of Tom and Myrtle the McKee’s and Myrtles sister Catherine. They have a party and Nick gets drunk for second time in his life, at the end of the chapter, Tom punches Myrtle’s nose because she keeps talking about Daisy. F Scott Fitzgerald uses a variety of techniques in chapter 2 in order to tell the story, for example, The Great Gatsby is written with an intra-diagetic narrator, uses a large amount of symbolism and has significant settings. Fitzgerald uses a first person narrator to tell the story in chapter 2. Nick, the narrator, is reminiscing the summer he lived in West egg and met Gatsby. This narrative technique allows us an insight as to what he thought and makes the reader make judgments based on Nick’s opinion. As the evening wears on Nick becomes inebriated, this is portrayed through his language and his increased confidence. For example he wipes some lather off Mr McKee’s face despite having seen it a while before. This technique is very effective as it is subtle but it makes clear it to the reader as to what is happening.

Fitzgerald also uses symbolism to tell the story in chapter 2. The term the ‘Valley of Ashes’ is not pleasant sounding and the repetition of ‘grey’ emphasises the bleakness of the area. It is a place people travel through on a train, but they never stop, they are outsiders, catching a glimpse of another world. In this way Fitzgerald creates strong contrasts between the areas, lifestyles and societies in America at the time, especially comparing New York, the West and East eggs and the Valley of Ashes. Another use of symbolism is the Eyes of T J Eckleburg, a large painting of eyes, which ‘brood over the solemn dumping ground’. They are used to represent God watching poorer areas of society whose morality has not been so negatively affected by the economic boom.

Fitzgerald uses many settings to create different atmospheres in order to tell the story in chapter 2. The first of which is the Valley of Ashes, an unpleasant place where Nick is introduced to Myrtle and confirms the suggestion of Nicks affair. This is a suitable location for it to take place as it is as far from Tom’s normal society as possible, and as the area is ‘bleak’ and ‘grey’ so is the concept of their affair. The second location is the New York apartment where Nick gets drunk and Tom punches Myrtle. This is appropriate due to the society of New York at the time, this is Toms society where he really has power over Myrtle and so is only to keen to show it. Also in the busy, thriving, city, it would be easy for Nick to be swept up and to lose his moral standing, therefore allowing himself to become drunk. Owing to this, I think that the settings are important in making the story realistic and they allow the plot to fit together.

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