Form, Structure & Language in The Great Gatsby

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GreenDiff
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Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone had any idea what sort of things you need to talk about in Section A, part (a) of AQA English Literature B exam relating to The Great Gatsby.

I can confidently talk about the themes of the book in the next question, but am unsure about the form, structure and language. Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
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lunademargarita
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Hii, I'm also studying The Great Gatsby and finding form particularly tricky,but i think i'm okay with structure so i'll try to help you out there...
A key point for the structure is how Fitzgerald has played with the chronology; Nick's narrative starts in the present and then from about chapter 4 onwards he starts to integrate stories of Gatsby's past, however these are not in chronological order either! I think that this is because Fitzgerald understands that 1) the reader cannot absorb lots of information at once, 2) they will not understand/believe this information until they are interested in Gatsby and 3) it further builds the mystery surrounding his character.

Fitzgerald uses a patterning through the novel; the repetition of phrases or colours etc creates shades of meaning that when repeated the reader will recognise. These patterns thread their way throughout the story and adds richness of meaning to the novel as a whole.
This links in to the 'scenic method of narrative construction'. Many scenes within the novel are parallel to or mirrored by others, most notably the party scenes.
Also note the way in which Nick interrupts the main dialogue with supplementing information about characters and past events.

I am also studying Keats and have drawn the style of Fitzgeralds language parallel with that of Keats; 'a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing' if thats any help!
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protectthecats
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In regards to form i think you can discuss things such as Gatsby's timetable in chapter 9 and the song in chapter 5 about how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer as the differ from lyrical prose of the rest of the novel.
hope that helps abit, form is tricky. As general ideas you can talk about it being a tragedy genre or a romantic story.
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GreenDiff
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(Original post by lunademargarita)
Hii, I'm also studying The Great Gatsby and finding form particularly tricky,but i think i'm okay with structure so i'll try to help you out there...
A key point for the structure is how Fitzgerald has played with the chronology; Nick's narrative starts in the present and then from about chapter 4 onwards he starts to integrate stories of Gatsby's past, however these are not in chronological order either! I think that this is because Fitzgerald understands that 1) the reader cannot absorb lots of information at once, 2) they will not understand/believe this information until they are interested in Gatsby and 3) it further builds the mystery surrounding his character.

Fitzgerald uses a patterning through the novel; the repetition of phrases or colours etc creates shades of meaning that when repeated the reader will recognise. These patterns thread their way throughout the story and adds richness of meaning to the novel as a whole.
This links in to the 'scenic method of narrative construction'. Many scenes within the novel are parallel to or mirrored by others, most notably the party scenes.
Also note the way in which Nick interrupts the main dialogue with supplementing information about characters and past events.

I am also studying Keats and have drawn the style of Fitzgeralds language parallel with that of Keats; 'a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing' if thats any help!
Thanks very much, that's extremely helpful. Structure is a lot clearer now. A lot of sites give different definitions but yours is what I've heard before in class. Do you reckon there's much about form to talk about?

I also do Keats and I understand your comparison. You'll do well in the exam!

Thanks again for your help.
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lunademargarita
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(Original post by GreenDiff)
Thanks very much, that's extremely helpful. Structure is a lot clearer now. A lot of sites give different definitions but yours is what I've heard before in class. Do you reckon there's much about form to talk about?

I also do Keats and I understand your comparison. You'll do well in the exam!

Thanks again for your help.
hi sorry i only joined student room yesterday so i hadn't realised that anybody had replied to this, so i'm sorry it's a bit late replying but i'm glad you found it helpful! Just writing it out helped me quite a bit really, its funny how answering other people's questions shows you that you know more than you think :P
As for form :| i really struggle with it, mainly because it overlaps with structural elements All i can think of for great gatsby is the narrative voice/ 1st person perspective. Nick gives character insight, changes the tense, tone etc etc. Nick is both a participant and observer. I think what i said before about the scenic method is also form... and is symbolism form? I hope so because there would be so much to write about then!
Have you thought of anything else for form?
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Rhea
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I think for form relevant things you can write about is that Nick is a narrator as well as a character, and so adds extra information to the plot and about characters. This makes it easier for the reader to understand the story.
Also, as he writes in 1st person it can be seen as similar to a diary or a story of his past that he has written or is telling others.

Structure can be that it is mostly chronological but sometimes time does shift, it depends on the chapter. It often describes the past i.e. Gatsby's past.
The structure follows the usual narrative; exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and denouement.
Chapters are often separated into different sections, based on the tension - as in when the setting or time changes it can be in a new section, often accompanied by a rise or fall in the tension. Pathetic fallacy is often used to create this tension.

Lots can be written about language. A lot of phrases can be analysed. You could think of the context and how this may have influenced the phrase i.e. expectations of women in 1920's, alcohol prohibition, etc, however this does not need to be included in A02 questions (in england anyway).

There are many alternative interpretations of the understanding of the language, form and structure of the text and you should explain some when writing an essay.
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Israsidd
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that was extremely useful thank you
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