2. Exploring the Narrative of The Great
How does Fitzgerald tell the story in Chapter 4 of the Great
To explore Fitzgerald’s use of:
• Time and Sequence
• Characters and Characterisation
• Points of View
• Voices in texts
• Scenes and Places
3. The structure of this chapter
is in three parts
1. Nick lists Gatsby’s party guests. Nick drops names as
if the reader should recognise them as celebrities. He
also lists their misbehaviour – What are the
misbehaviours he describes? What do these
misbehaviours show about the world of the Eggs?
2. Gatsby takes Nick to lunch with Wolfshiem. It is the
first time the reader catches a glimpse of the real
Gatsby. His stories are so outrageous that they
prompt the reader to wonder what he’s hiding. What
are the outrageous tales he tells? What does his
connection to Wolfstien raise suspicions of?
3. Jordan’s description of Gatsby’s past romance with
Daisy gives the different impression of Gatsby – What
impression of Gatsby is portrayed here? This adds
another layer of mystery to Gatsby’s character.
4. Gatsby symbolises both the luxury
and the corruption of the Jazz Age.
5. The end of this chapter shifts to
Jordan’s first-person narrative. Nick
tells the story in her voice.
What is the effect Fitzgerald achieves
with this change in voice?
6. Gatsby’s Dream is a Corruption of the
• Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy can be seen to symbolise the
American Dream. The image of him as a lone figure, reaching out
for the green light (end of chapter 1) shows him striving for the
object of his desires.
• The fact Gatsby strives to win Daisy, who’s shallow, snobbish and
fickle, reflects the corruption of the American Dream – it has
become focused on the shallow pursuit of wealth.
• Gatsby doesn’t care that breaking up Daisy’s marriage is immoral –
he claims it’s “nothing underhand”. The American Dream has
become about individual satisfaction, not reaping the rewards of
• Nick juxtaposes the physical reality of Jordan, “the girl beside me”
with the dream image of Daisy’s “disembodied face” to show that
the woman Gatsby loves is just a dream. He also associated with
the “blinding signs” of New York shops, which symbolises the way
Gatsby’s dream of Daisy is tied up with his dream of financial
7. Exploring the Character of Gatsby
We have already thought a bit about the
importance of characters’ names. The naming of
Gatsby is particularly important. In the book he is
Where are these names used in
• Jay Gatsby
the novel, by whom and what do
they signify about the character?
• The Great Gatsby
• James Gatz
• My neighbour
8. Exploring the Character of Gatsby
In the extract Tony Tanner quotes Fitzgerald
himself talking of the ‘vagueness’ of Gatsby as a
• Pick three or four moments in the novel that
reveal something of the ‘now you see him,
now you don’t’ quality of Gatsby. For each
analyse closely what it is about the telling that
creates Gatsby’s enigmatic appeal.
9. Exploring the Character of Gatsby
Look at the 10 statements about Fitzgerald’s
representation of Gatsby.
• Place the statements in a diamond shape,
with the one you agree with the most at the
top and least at the bottom.
• Evidence the one at the top and the one at the
bottom with the text.
10. Chapter 4
• Write a one sentence summary
• Choose a single quotation to sum up the chapter
• What can you say about chapter four and each of
the aspects of narrative?
Time and Sequence
Characters and Characterisation
Points of View
Voices in texts
Scenes and Places
11. Chapter 5
• The subject matter of a text is the literal thing
the book is about.
• The themes of a text are the underlying issues
and ideas being dealt with.
Try writing no more than 25 words describing
the subject matter of The Great Gatsby. Then
try to list what you believe to be some of the
To say that a novel is about love or death or friendship
doesn’t take you very far. As a student of literature, you
should be just as interested in HOW the writer develops the
themes of the text as what those themes are. To do this
you need to consider:
What the key themes are
What aspects of those themes the writer is most interested
What ideas emerge from the narrative and the way it is told
What is unique and special about the way that particular
text develops those themes (here you’ll be thinking about
all aspects of style, structure, voice and language)
As we watch the clip ‘Themes’, note down the themes Nicolas
Tredell identifies as particularly important.
•Are there any other themes which you would argue are more
interesting or significant?
14. Exploring the themes - Wealth
Look at these moments in the novel:
• The moment when Gatsby shows Daisy around his house and pulls out all
• The description of Gatsby’s parties at the beginning of Chapter 3
• The valley of ashes
• Nick’s mid-west background, with it’s old established but not ostentatious
Look at the extracts for:
 patterns of symbolism
 the use of contrast
 how the theme of wealth emerges through description or dialogue
 how Fitzgerald directs the reader’s sympathies towards certain
characters and their values
Write a theme flow diagram (like the Love model you’ve been given) for
15. Chapter 5
• Working as a group, annotate Chapter 5 using the
information you’ve been given as a starting point
• Answer these 3 questions:
– Fitzgerald creates an almost unbearably tense atmosphere
at the beginning of chapter 5. Find and label a couple of
examples of where the narration establishes this tone.
– Once Gatsby takes Daisy up to the house the tone changes
to one of surreal wonder. Find examples of where this
tone is established.
– This meeting has significance beyond the reuniting of the
two lovers. Looking at the last three paragraphs of the
chapter, evaluate what Daisy has come to represent for
16. Independent Study
Write a one sentence summary for Chapters 4 and 5.
Choose a single quotation to sum up each chapter.
What can you say about chapters 4 and 5 and each of the aspects of narrative?
 Time and Sequence
 Characters and Characterisation
 Points of View
 Voices in texts
 Scenes and Places
Identify at least 5 linking or contrasting extracts that seem to be important in the development of
your given theme, list theses and summarise the patterns, points of similarity and difference that
reveal to you Fitzgerald’s approach (patterns of symbolism, the use of contrast, how the theme of
wealth emerges through description or dialogue, how Fitzgerald directs the reader’s sympathies
towards certain characters and their values).
Create a flow diagram (like the one from last lesson) on your given theme:
Aspirations and the American Dream RHYS
Class and status LAURA
Appearance and reality OLIVIA
Idealism v. Realism LOWENA
Perception (sight and insight) FLO AND NANCY
Masculinity and femininity AMELIA
Honesty and deceit JAMIE
Corruption v. Purity OWEN
Next week it’s Chapters 6, 7 and 8 so reread please.