The great gatsbyWatch
what point should I make in
chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9
this is a 'how does F tell the story in Chap 9' question I did
Fitzgerald uses this chapter to create a sense of finality, suggesting to the reader ‘the party was over.’ The repetition of ‘last’ throughout the chapter does this, which relates to the end of Nick’s experiences and relationship with Gatsby. Also, Fitzgerald references the colour ‘green’ once more which is symbolic of Gatsby’s dream, the use of it in the final chapter signifies the end of Gatsby’s dream and pursuit of Daisy. Similarly, Fitzgerald uses colour to symbolise the death of Gatsby’s dream and subsequent loss of hope. The ‘motor-hearse’ was described as ‘horribly black’ which contrasts the vulgar displays of colour in Gatsby’s life ‘pink rag of a suit.’ Coupled with this, Fitzgerald uses pathetic fallacy to parallel the sombre feeling of death and loss, there was a ‘thick drizzle’ which has ominous connotations. Also the fact that rain has only been used in one other description in the novel builds the tension since it’s not an ordinary description ‘he spoke of the rain in a worried, uncertain way.’
Nick begins the chapter by commenting on the ‘rest of’ the day of Gatsby’s death and the two days following after, from a retrospective stance of ‘two years.’ From the opening of the chapter the reader is already made aware of the significance of these three days through the profound effect they made on Nick. ‘For two years I remembered the rest of that day’, which shows the massive emotional weight Gatsby’s death must have stowed onto Nick, for him to have retained the information for two years. Moreover Nick’s retention of the events symbolises the key theme of the novel which is that our pasts shape our lives and we’re unable to evade them. Fitzgerald highlights in this chapter the relationship between Nick and Gatsby but simultaneously he shows Gatsby’s isolation since Nick was ‘on Gatsby’s side, and alone’, despite all the parties ‘nobody came.’ The media, ‘photographers’ and ‘newspaper men’, seem to be the only ones who are interested, however they are not interested in Jay Gatsby but his fabrication, the lies and rumours surrounding his life. Nick says ‘the whole tale would shortly be served up in racy pasquinade’, ‘racy pasquinade’ highlights Nick’s fierce loyalty towards Gatsby since he believes the reports will unjustly represent him. In a sense through this ‘endless drill’ of media ‘in and out of Gatsby’s front door’ Fitzgerald suggests that the media are somewhat to blame for the fallacy of the American Dream, which Gatsby’s dream was always representative of. The presentation of Tom and Daisy as ‘careless people’ who ‘smashed up things’ suggests that the upper classes are also at fault for the destruction of the American Dream, and more relevantly Gatsby, the ‘poor son-of-a-*****’.
Furthermore, Fitzgerald’s introduction of Henry Gatz in the final chapter accentuates Gatsby’s detachment from his parents, or at least his old life. Mr Gatz’s view of his son contrasts heavily with the opinions of those such as Wolfshiem who knew Gatsby during his quest for wealth to impress Daisy. This is because Gatz believed his son’s success was genuine and a positive representation of Gatsby ‘if he’d of lived, he’d of been a great man’, however Gatsby was always discontented with his wealth, continually expectant of something more ‘faithful to the end.’ Therefore it’s obvious Gatsby’s detached from his parents, this is exemplified by Fitzgerald again since Gatsby’s father learned of his death indirectly through the ‘Chicago Newspaper’. Moreover, Gatz’s presence at the funeral and during the ‘procession’ reflects the major theme throughout the novel, you cannot escape the past. Despite Gatsby’s best efforts to shed his old existence as ‘James Gatz’ and detach himself from his ‘shiftless and unsuccessful’ parents, his father remained with him even in death.
Through the metaphor of the ‘boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past’ Fitzgerald shows the profound aspiration rooted in Gatsby, his life was full of obstacles ‘current’ yet nothing stopped him relentlessly trying to achieve what he wanted ‘so we beat on.’ Through this, Fitzgerald references the dreamer in all of us and conveys the idea of the human need to be challenged. This metaphor also exemplifies how we’re inextricably linked to our pasts and despite Gatsby’s effort to retain the past and be ‘borne back’ into his relationship with Daisy, like the ‘boats against the current’, time prevented him from doing so.