Chapter 4 The Great Gatsby
Themes and authorial intention
* Truth versus lies: self- fabrication / mythologizing of the past and one’s identity ( rajah/oxford/ military heroism/ romantic tragic hero pg 63 -64 + Nick’s reliability and testimonial form
* The corruption of society – the timetable schedule / july 5th / the policeman on pg 66 / wolfsheim and teeth/ the night they shot Rosy Rosenthal/ business gonnection/ the man who fixed the world series. 69/70/71
* Social mobility – from valley of ashes across the bridge to the resplendence of the city of New York pg 67 three modish negroes and a white chauffeur – “anything can happen”
* The romanticisation of Gatsby
* Nick’s reliability: - he is reporting others’ narratives: Gatsby’s and then later, Jordan’s, adding only comments of wry disbelief – Gatsby’s medal and photo as proof of Gatsby’s authenticity.’s eye witness commentary. Overall
* Nick’s narrative in this chapter is like some testimonial witness account at court, anticipating what could become the inquest into Myrtle’s death. At the same time, Nick’s careful editing and splicing of narratives makes his account highly manipulated, to seem like he is being truthful when so much fabrication is going on, that we suspect he too is participating in some of his own fabricating.
* The narrative is complex, narratives within narratives, pieced together retrospectively by Nick – truthful, verified by others ; ambiguous; manipulated
* Gatsby’s narrative: first person account: plays with stereotypes and fictionalized heroes.
* Jordan’s narrative on the early days of Gatsby and Daisy’s romance: romantic in form…
* Explains the otherwise pointless n wealth and extravangance of Gatsby’s parties after Chapter 3
* It precedes the Romantic clijmax of Gastby’s reunion with Daisy, and therefeore helps to build up romantic expectation.
* Structurally the idea of car crashes foreshadowing Myrtles...