The Narrative Art of The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby was written in 1925. The author, Francis Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) is one of the most outstanding writers in America. As a member of the “lost generation”, Fitzgerald made the short life of Gatsby epitome of the rise, boom and decline of the “American Dream” in “Jazz Age”. This novel shows us unusually rich literary and aesthetic connotation is has by its unique narrative perspective, the ups and downs of plot, superb accurate language, various rhetorical devices and vivid character images. To some extent, the reason why The Great Gatsby can become a famous classic work is that the author uses extraordinary narrative ...view middle of the document...
The narrative art always makes innovative contributions to the novel’s development. And this thesis explores the narrative art of The Great Gatsby from different perspectives and gets new conclusions.
1. The Narrative Structure of The Great Gatsby
Narrative structure can be seen as a framework which underlies the order and manner of the story that is presented to readers, listeners or viewers. Theorists will involve structural elements when describing a text’s narrative structure.
Generally, the narrative structure of any work—a film, play, or novel—contains the plot, theme, and resolution. It can also be divided into three sections, which are together referred to as the three-act structure: setup, conflict, and resolution. For western novels, they have had their narrative style and skills evolved on the basis of verity ever since their first appearance. In order recreate the colors of life; the traditional stories require that the content must have a clear subject and a compact structure. In addition, it also pays particular attention to the coherence and the clarity of thought. By this convention, most of the traditional novels construct their works following space-time order of the objective reality or the development process of the events. The plot of these novels follows the way of beginning, development, climax and end. However, through using the unique and the exquisite arrangement of spatio-temporal structure in The Great Gatsby, the author creates dramatic effect to strengthen on the specific artistic charm and highlight the novel’s concept content.
1.1 The Time Narrative Structure
Modern theories of Narratology argue that the chronology of the story does not equate to the narrative chronology in a work. The inconformity between the chronology of the story and that of the narration was described as “time perversion”, an important narrative discourse and strategy of writer, by French narratologist Gerard Genette. The Great Gatsby has considerable skills in the narrative time.
The narration in this novel begins with an overview which is short but very mysterious. Nike says:
Gatsby who represented everything for which i have an unaffected scorn,......No, Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.( F. S. Fitzgerald, 2010:03).
In the ensuing narration, the author wrote according to the order of the narrator Nick’s understandings for sequence of events. He was in a developing relationship with the events that are happening----as the plot developing, Nike’s understandings about Gatsby has experienced a process from recognizing and understanding. Because Nick was born in a middle-class, Gatsby was on behalf of everything that Nick opposes. But Gatsby’s innocence, imagination, overconfidence and pursuit of illusory love at all costs were unforgettable for...