Fitzgerald also decided to make Nick a character in the story which affects his status as a narrator because he is both and observer and a participant in the story. The reason for this could either be because Fitzgerald wants the story to be presented as a novel about how Jay Gatsby impacted the life of a naïve young man from the Midwest (Nick Carraway) or because it’s Nick’s story about Gatsby. This allows him not only to tell the story in flashback but also to interpret it and makes comments on the characters, themes and actions. Either way, it is a simple literary method used by Fitzgerald to tell the story through the same character but at different points.
Another way in which Fitzgerald tells the story in Chapter 1 is through his use of language. For example, when Nick sets the scene of the area in which he lives, West Egg, he describes Gatsby’s house which is next door to his own, saying that it is a ‘factual imitation’ of a French house. The use of this language could suggest that Gatsby is trying to imitate sophistication by perhaps making a background for himself which links to the theme of self-creation and the American Dream, common themes Fitzgerald uses to tell the story throughout the book as well as in Chapter 1.
Another example of how Fitzgerald uses language to tell the story in Chapter 1 is through the initial description of Tom Buchanan. It immediately gives the reader the impression that he epitomises the confident and rich image of the East Egg aristocracy: ‘Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face’. The appearances of the Buchanan household and its