The Great Gatsby: characters and characterization

The Great Gatsby: characters and characterization photo

In the Great Gatsby, characters are not introduced in a traditional way. They are not described in any detail and cannot be studied separately. Thanks to his "ideographic" method of character-portrayal, Fitzgerald suggests one idea through an attitude, a gesture but does not provide a final explanation. It is up to the reader to reconstruct the pieces of the puzzle into a coherent whole. The author's technique is close to the Joycean "signature" when the character is broken down into […]

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Historical figures and fictional characters in Regeneration

How human beings presented in Regeneration are different from historical characters ? Paradoxically, several characters had real historical existence and yet, there is no difference between those who really existed and those invented: it seems that they are on the same level. The major difference lays in characterization, i.e. the ways in which human beings are constructed in characters. In history books, the stress is usually on public life whereas in fictions the stress is on subjectivity. Regeneration is a […]

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First dialogue between Rivers and Sassoon in Regeneration

Study of the passage p11-12: from "What kind of questions did they ask.." to "with quite a bit of his leg left inside". This is the first real dialogue between Rivers and Sassoon. Sassoon is presented as shell-shocked. This passage is composed of a dialogue and 12 lines of narrative. Most of the narrative comments describe Sassoon's behaviour. I. Dialogue and verisimilitude Dialogue enhances verisimilitude. Rivers is a psychiatrist and Sassoon is the patient. It is a normal professional situation. […]

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Structure in A Midsummer Night's Dream

I - Characters and structure Multiplicity of lines. A Midsummer Night's Dream is remarkable for the many levels of its text. The play is different from Romeo and Juliet or the Taming of the Shrew (which have one main plot) because of the various levels of plots and characters. There are 4 levels: Theseus and Hippolyta, the young lovers, the mechanicals, and the fairies. There are connections between: Theseus & Hippolyta and the young lovers: made by Theseus, member of […]

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The Short-Story and the Novel

Introduction The Short Story appeared in the 19th century, inherited from tales and narratives. As Edgar Allan Poe stated it, a Short Story must have a "unity of impression, of totality and of single effect". It could be compared to poetry: consciousness, inner life and the end of the story subjected to many interpretations lead to a sudden illumination from the part of the reader: at a certain point, this latter understands everything. The Novel is based on a principle […]

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Death of a Salesman : an extended introduction

Introduction: the structure of the play In Miller's mind, Death of a Salesman was not an abstract concept but the concrete image of an enormous head that would be on stage, opening up the play, so that spectators would be able to see inside. It was a very ambitious idea and the original title was The Inside of his Head. In Death of a Salesman, the spectator is plunged into the main character's head. There is no linear onward progression […]

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The ordering of events in The Great Gatsby

Structure and Narration in "The Great Gatsby" photo

Introduction In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald condensed the story's events. It appears that two important changes were introduced: Fitzgerald suppressed a long episode of Gatsby's childhood in order to heighten the sense of mystery surrounding his protagonist's youth. This fragment was then turned into a short story Absolution that was published in a review Mercury. The second important change concerned the order of the events and the fact that in the original version it was Gatsby who spoke. In the […]

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Structure and Narration in The Great Gatsby

Structure and Narration in "The Great Gatsby" photo

The Great Gatsby is the third novel of Fitzgerald, published in 1925 after This Side of Paradise (1920) and The Beautiful and the Damned (1922). Introduction It is a turning point in Fitzgerald literary career because it was to improve on his previous works: he tested new techniques and insisted on the novelty of his enterprise: 'I want to write something new, something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and 'intricately patterned' (letter to Perkins, agent at Scribners). Indeed, Fitzgerald devoted […]

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