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The Great Gatsby | F.

Scott Fitzgerald
Explore the ways in which Fitzgeralds striking description makes Gatsbys party a significant moment in the novel (Chapter 3 first 6 paragraphs) [20 marks]

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a poignant tale of love, betrayal and the corruption of the American Dream. The titular character plays a major role as it is his parties that draw the readers as well as the narrator into the novel. Chapter 3s introduction is a striking change from the events of the conclusion of Chapter 2, which involved a fight between Tom and his mistress, Myrtle. This sudden variation emphasizes the observant tone of the narrator, Nick Carraway as instead of dwelling upon the events of Chapter 2, he moves on quickly to narrate Gatsbys extravagant party and this scene that allows the readers to exchange the drama of Chapter 2 for the elegance of Gatsbys social gathering. This is essential to the overall plot development of the entire novel as Fitzgerald successfully juxtaposes numerous situations together and allows a fast paced climax to enthral the reader. The narrating manner is important to analyse to discover the significance of Gatsbys party as the reader is influenced by this tone. Carraways superiority complex is discovered when he compares the party goers as moths among the whispering and the champagne and the stars. This disdain highlights the overly judgmental attitude of the narrator. The comparison is repeated again in the passage as he compares a vehicle to a brisk yellow bug. These comparisons make the passage more significant as they allow the reader to understand the mood of the narrator as he visits Gatsbys party for the first time and this mood is important as it is essentially the veil covering the reality of the parties, to how Carraway perceives them. Condescension is not the only effective tone employed by Fitzgerald, the recurrent sarcasm of Carraway is also seen when he needlessly says, if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butlers thumb with scorn. He effectively sneers at the pointlessly joyous party goers whos laughter is easier minute by minute and the enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each others names. Carraways contempt at the overly cheery party goers stresses the theme of materialism but rather hypocritically, as Carraway tries to distance himself from the materialistic, but both previous and later chapters are quick to identify him as one of the culprits.

The theme of materialism is not only presented wryly in the tone of the narrator, Nick Carraway, but also through the description of the routine on a day of Gatsbys party. Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, a whole pitful of oboes and trombones, floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside are all clear examples of the extravagance in which these parties were held and moreover, symbolizing the social class that these parties were attended by. Social class is a crucial theme in both the passage and the overall novel as it is a critical link for the other themes. It is imperative to analyse social class as it also tells the reader what kinds of people were corrupting the American Dream. The high social class was exampled through the clothing of the revellers (shawls beyond the dreams of Castile.) and their actions, (wanderers, confidant girls who weave here and there). Their actions are also seen as immature and spontaneous, for example, one of the girls seizes a cocktail and dumps it down for courage and proceeds to dance. This childlike attitude demonstrates the transparency of the high social class, therefore highlighting the corruption of the American Dream by singling out those who believe wealth is achieved and then wasted on extravagant parties and long nights of excessive drinking. A plethora of imagery is used to create this significant moment, and colour and light imagery is used excessively. The colour yellow is repetitive (yellow cocktail music, brisk yellow bug) and this symbolizes childish joy. Teemed with the numerous other examples of bright light (constantly changing light), Fitzgerald creates a scene of gaiety and optimism that signifies the superficial immaturity of the party goers who have not a care in the world besides socializing and drinking. The happy colours bring forth their refusal to admit that anything is wrong or troubled in the world, as they continue to dance in their bubble. Furthermore, the example of gaudy with primary colours when Carraway describes Gatsbys home, signifies the shallowness and plain character of the party goers like primary colours are used for basic models. Evaluating this, readers find the relation with the simplicity of the revellers as well as Carraways judgment about them he believes that since they are so basic, they are not able to understand complex opinions and are generally simple-minded. The absence of the titular character in the first six paragraphs of his party still adds to his character development. Jay Gatsby is seen shrouded in mystery through this nonappearance and this is a somewhat contrast to the scene of the party. The majority of attendees are desperate to be the centre of attention (become for a short, joyous moment the centre of the group) but Gatsby chooses to shy away from it, instead blending into the background and making an appearance much later in the chapter. This is a crucial juxtaposition by Fitzgerald of an anti-social man who throws social parties this grips the reader

and allows one of the main characters of the story to be set apart from the others. It is hard not to feel revulsion at the materialistic style of the partygoers at Gatsbys mansion. The idea of grown adults acting like children to stay in a bubble of harmless immaturity safely tells the reader that the American Dream is a dream not worth pursuing if it is led out like this. Furthermore, the social class divide is evident in lines such as eight servantstoiled all day with mops, and this adds to the materialistic character of all those who attend the parties who believe, as well as tell the reader that the servants are beneath them, and it does not matter if their backs break while they clean up from the previous nights indulgences. Therefore, personally, the immature attitude of the revellers in Gatsbys mansion does not bring forth an appeal to his parties. Sara Mansoor Syed