2 February 2018
Creating a Character:Analyzing Indirect Characterization of Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
By using indirect characterization, F. Scott Fitzgerald is able to successfully engage readers to further understand characters in selective ways. Indirect Characterization is defined as showing things that reveal the personality of the character (NCTE). Jay Gatsby is well described using many examples of indirect characterization throughout the course of the novel.
Jay Gatsby is the subject of opinion in East and West Egg. He is by far the most undescribed character in the story, leaving many different opinions about him. The writer delayed Gatsby’s introduction in the novel to build up tension about what his personality really was. Before Gatsby was even introduced, the reader probably imagined that Gatsby was a wealthy, high-headed, careless man. By using the following sentence, Nick’s impression of Gatsby is accrately shown. “He hurried the phrase “educated at Oxford,” or swallowed it or choked on it as though it had bothered him before. And with his doubt his whole statement fell to pieces and I wondered if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him after all” (Fitzgerald 69). By ‘choking’ on his words, as Nick calls it, we can analyze that there is something different about Gatsby. It is almost as if he did not want to talk about his family, perhaps for personal reasons, but did for the sake of the conversation.
The novel is set up so that the reader begins to realize Gatsby’s actual character towards the center of the sto...