The Great Gatsby Commentary This extract explores the introduction to Gatsby’s character and the curiosity felt towards him by the main character Nick Carraway, as well as the beginning of their friendship. The opening line of this extract opens with a contrast between the party and the introduction to Gatsby’s character. The atmosphere of the party is created by the noun “lull” which is a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity, which creates more of a negative mental image for the reader.
This is contrasted with Gatsby’s smile, which is a positive verb, instantly attracts attention to his character. As the extract continues, we are exposed to Gatsby and Nicks first similarity. “Weren’t you in the First Division during the war”. This gives the impression that both Nick and Gatsby are already friends and makes us feel more comfortable around Gatsby’s character. The party continues on and Gatsby and Nick keep bonding.
Gatsby then invites Nick to accompany him while he tries out his new hydro plane. Gatsby addresses Nick as Old sport which becomes one of Gatsby’s most commonly used phrases throughout the course of the novel. The use of “Old sport” again creates an atmosphere of comfort between the two characters, and lets the reader know that Gatsby is keen to make friends with Nick. Although Nick is still unsure of whom the man is he is talking to is, we are beginning to understand that it is actually Gatsby.
Once we find out that the man talking is Gatsby we are pushed back into feeling curious about his character because the novel is named after him. Fitzgerald then provides us worth the first decent description of Gatsby. Nick comments on how understanding Gatsby’s smile is. “He smiled understandingly- much more than understandingly”, it seems that Nick feels somewhat attracted to Gatsby just through the feeling of understanding in his smile. “Enternal reassurance” tells us that Nick already trusts Gatsby, after only moments of meeting.
When Fitzgerald insures how rare this feeling of understanding is “you may come across four or five time in your life”, It gives Gatsby an aura of importance in that he is unique from others. As this description of Gatsby’s understanding smile continues, there is a use of italic in the text on “you”, Fitzgerald uses this technique of italics to allow the reader feel more involved with the novel, and create a feeling that we are also being concentrated on by Gatsby.
Nick notices that Gatsby is choosing his words with care, which tells us that he is going out of his way to make friends with Nick. Nick mentions that he feels as though Gatsby is choosing his words with care and has been throughout the whole conversation, this implies that Nick could have something he wants, and gives quite a suspicious atmosphere to the scene as we don’t actually know much about Gatsby. For the second time in the extract, Gatsby greets Nick as “Old Sport”, which again gives off the impression that they are already friends, even though this is their first meeting.
Once Gatsby leaves to attend other matters, Nick feels curious and begins to ask questions to Jordan like “Who is he? ” I demanded. “Do you know”. Just from these questions we as readers can feel how excited and curious Nick feels towards Gatsby, and how much more he wants to know about him. The use of “demanded” tells us that Nick must know the answer and is being quite forceful towards Jordan. Nick begins to question further into who Gatsby is and what his role is throughout the novel.
Fitzgerald then uses the technique of italics to make a connection with the audience and allow us to feel more involved. “Now you’re started on the subject”. The use of italics on “you’re” makes us feel like we are started on the subject and want to know more about Gatsby, and it’s as if we are being asked by Jordan Baker. When Jordan reveals that she believes that Gatsby may have killed a man. Nick feels his curiosity being stimulated, which is why I decided that this extract explores Nick’s curiosity and the way in which it arises in the novel.