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The Great Gatsby - Point of View


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I was totally thrown when I started this book. I had read the blurb about 'girl loves guy-guy goes to fight war-girl marries other guy-first guy comes back-trouble starts', and naturally thought the story would be told from the point of view of one of these characters. And then in the first pages I was terribly confused, until I discovered it was someone else completely.

I actually think the book would have been better written from the point of view of Daisy. I still have large question marks about her true feelings for both Gatsby and Tom, and wonder why she acted the way she did at the end. It would have been enlightening to know her thoughts. I can't see much would be lost if Nick's perspective was not there, unless it be that you can be more objective about the three characters involved in the triangle.

Look forward to your thoughts on this.

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Sorry to be so long turning up here. I was so pleased someone was going to plunge in and start a thread.....and then I've been too busy to do more than pop in here for 5 minutes now and then :rolleyes:

 

I was totally thrown by your post, though! I haven't yet read very much of The Great Gatsby.....but I have listened to the Audio Book, (an abridged one, a year or two back) - and I didn't recognise your blurb at all:

 

'girl loves guy-guy goes to fight war-girl marries other guy-first guy comes back-trouble starts'

 

Is that really what happens??? I must have a very bad memory for what I've heard!! The main bits I remember are some parties, some drawing rooms and a car accident.... :o

 

I'm intrigued by your thoughts on the choice of narrator, though. If Fitzgerald had wanted an objective point of view, wouldn't he have chosen to write in the third person? Or wasn't that "the done thing" at the time?

 

I was intrigued by the opening paragraphs of the book, where Nick told us his father's advice about suspending judgement on people - it made me feel as if by seeing the story through his eyes, I would get to see people who I would maybe have dismissed, if I saw them first through my own eyes.

 

I think the book would have a very different "feel" or flavour to it, if it was told through the eyes of Daisy, who was utterly used to the lifestyle and world she lived in, than as told by Nick, something of an outsider, it allows Fitzgerald a bit more freedom to comment, I guess....

 

Really interesting question, (about which I may be talking utter rubbish!!) What does anyone else think. I'll keep thinking about this as I read further.

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I was intrigued by the opening paragraphs of the book, where Nick told us his father's advice about suspending judgement on people - it made me feel as if by seeing the story through his eyes, I would get to see people who I would maybe have dismissed, if I saw them first through my own eyes.

 

That's actually quite an interesting comment, I hadn't thought of that. Throughout the book Nick keeps saying that Gatsby is not his type of person, to put it quite mildly. Yet increasingly, he does quite a lot to help him out, and in doing that shows a lot of sympathy. I guess that's expounding on the theme that you shouldn't judge books by their cover. Indeed, in the beginning Gatsby is a very weird person (in my opinion), but when the history of him and Daisy comes out, he shows true depth of feeling. I really felt for him at that moment, the only time I felt for any of the characters.

 

Tom is also a character that works in that way. Towards the end he shows true feeling to both Daisy and Myrtle, while in the beginning he seems very cold and stiff.

 

I guess if the book was written from the point of view of Daisy, you'd never see those two sides of the men, you'd only see her fixed idea of each. Thanks Claire, you seem to have cleared that one up for me :)

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  • 2 months later...

I understood the book to be more about society at the time rather than about a love story. The love story to me was an explanation as to who Gatsby was compared to who people thought he was. I think that it was a comment on society by Fitzgerald and if he had told the story from Daisy's point of view we would not have got of that - it would have purely been about her relationships. I think Fitzgerald was saying that Daisy was an example of how fickle and bessoted with glamour and scandal and money people were in those days - although the same could be said today of course.

 

It was interesting to read a book set in another time and on the whole I would say I enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby.

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