[Research] the failure of dream in the great gatsby

arnita nurutami putri

The Great Gatsby is a novel by F. Scot Fitzgerald published in 1926. The theme of this novel is the Failure of Dream, telling about dreams of Gatsby ( the main character ) to be rich man, high class ( social status ) and have a woman ( Daisy, a high class woman in the novel ). In the novel, narrator tell that all dreams of Gatsby is failure in the end of the story. Relation between the narrator and story in a given narrative, make The Great Gatsby as a unique novel.

Gerard genette with his theory of narratology, expresses that in narrative discourse has four analysis which is use to understanding the relation that occur between elements of narrative, story and narration. the story generally corresponds to a series of events and actions that are told by someone ( the narrator ), and represented in some final form, producing a narrative. One of elements which is use to analyse narrative discourse is narrative instance. Narrative instance has three elements, there are narrative voice, time of narration and narrative perspective. Narrative voice ( who is speaking ), time of narration ( when does the telling occur, relative to the story ) and narrative perspective ( through whom are we perceiving ). By using narrative instance it can gain understanding of the relation between the narrator and the story in a given narrative.

On every narrative discourse its has intirinsic elements which is build the story structurally to its narrative. One of intrinsic element that build the story structurally is theme. Theme is main problem that told in its narrative. Every narrative has their theme even though it is have long story. Theme can be identify by what is the most thing that told in it is narrative. The Great Gatsby telling about dreams of Gatsby where every dreams that he want gotten by his travail to become realize. Gatsby came from poor farm family and he was a military in a war can be a rich man because of being mafia of alcohol illegal he also got a high class man ( social status ) in society by held luxurious summer parties in his mansion and invited all people from all class of society. The purposes of Gatsby dream is to get Daisy, making her want to be his part of life bya showing his wealth. Nick tells that Gatsby died in the end of story, he claimed that all of Gatsby dream was failure.

One of element which is use to analysis narrative discourse according to narrative instance is narrative voice. By analysis narrative voice, we can know who is speaking or telling in it is narrative ( narrator ). What type of narrator of that narrative, is narrator of that narrative is also presence in that story or absent in that story. In novel The Great Gatsby, the story begin with narrator’s story about his and his family. “ my family have been prominent, well to do people in this middle western city for three generations. The caraways are something of a clan and we have a tradition that we are descended from the dukes……” ( pg.8, ch. 1 ), “… I decided to go east and learn the bond bussines “ ( pg.9, ch 1 ), “ tom Buchanan, who had been hovering restlessly about the room, stopped and rested his hand on my shoulder. ‘ what you doing, nick?’ ‘ I am a bond man” ( pg.16, ch. 1 ). From quotes of the novel given on last line, it can identify that the narrator of that story is Nick, Nick not only as people who is telling the story but also as a character of that story in it is narrative. Nick is the first person homodiegetic narrator. He is also tell what other character tell him or what he hears from them ( ‘ I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with hi in Germany,’ he assured us positively. ‘ oh, no,’ said the first girl, ‘ it couldn’t be that, because he was in the American army during the war.’ As our credulity switched back to her she leaned forward with enthuasism. ‘ you look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody’s looking at him. I will bet he killed a man. ‘ she narrowed her eyes and shivered. Lucille shivered. We all turned and looked around for Gatsby. It was testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there were whisper about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world) ( pg. 50, ch.3 ).

The event of novel The Great Gatsby is telling in chronological order or choronologically. How Gatsby get his wealth, and how Gatsby get the failure of his dream. He tells how he meet Gatsby in the party that held in Gatsby mansion ( chapter 3 ), how he make gathering between Gatsby and Daisy, he know about Gatsby form other character and how he get the failure of his dreams ( died ). Nick as homodiegetic narrator telling the story what happened in past time, it is subsequent type of time narration.

This is the last element of narrative instance analysis of narrative discourse is narrative perspective. According to gennete, narrative perspective is point of view adopted by narrator which genette calls focalization. These are matters of perception. Where is person who feel is not person who tells, in another words narrator who is telling the story is not the main character whom tell in the story of the novel. Nick is internal and external focalization. Internal focalization since he is a character in the novel The Great Gatsby and interacted with Gatsby ( for a moment he looked at me as if he failed to understand. ‘ I am Gatsby’, he said suddenly. ‘ what!’ I exclaimed, ‘ oh I beg your pardon.’ ; pg. 54, ch. 3 ). External focalization, since Nick is writer of that story in the novel The Great Gatsby, that he act as camera lens of that story. He is a character and a witness who uses the first person point of view when narrating the story. Following the protagonists actions and gestures from the outside ( he smiled understandingly- much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. it faced- or seemed to face the whole eternal world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour; pg. 54, ch. 3 ).

In the novel Nick is the narrator of the novel, nick is a minor character who tells much about the major character by his judgments, it is what makes the novel become unique. Narrator describes the story of Gatsby in the novel is to picture a person who has everything but he is stil lonely. All of his dreams is more point to obsession . Money can not make Gatsby as a happy person, because in the end of story Gatsby died in lonely, none of his dream that accompanied him. Money, people who came to his parties, luxury things that he had and Daisy, no one besides him.

References :


Fitzgerald, Scott. F , (1926), The Great Gatsby, Penguin Books LTD: England

word count: 1224


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