My three comparative texts are: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (code ‘G’), Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock (code ‘R’) and All My Sons by Arthur Miller (code ‘S’)
Respond to the Question here
Literary genre is the style of writing and the ways in which an author makes use of their style to create their work. Whether it is technique, narrative, vocabulary, tone, context or length, these genres serve a purpose for the author.
‘G’ is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is written from the perspective of Nick Carraway who is befriending the eponymous Jay Gatsby. The story is told using retrospective narration from Nick. This allows for unreliability. The novel is an invective against the upper-class and the shallowness of the people within that class.
‘R’ is a feature film made by Alfred Hitchcock. It is told from the perspective of the protagonist Jeff who is confined to his apartment after breaking his leg. Hitchcock employed many innovative and revolutionary methods in editing, cinematography and sound to portray voyeurism cinematically. We see everything through the lens of Jeff’s camera, and that is vital to the mood of the film. We learn information at the same time Jeff does. That makes the audience feel part of the story.
‘S’ is a play written by Arthur Miller. The story is told during one night at the Keller household. Miller uses a wide range of characters and naturalistic dialogue to humanise the story. They emote and argue like all other human beings do. The character arcs are natural, and that is testament to Miller’s work and his merit as a dramatist.
The key scene of ‘G’ is when Jay Gatsby is introduced. Before this, he is mentioned in hushes and whispers. People ponder over who or what this enigmatic man truly is. Nick eventually finds him in a grand library and, like us, is awestruck. Fitzgerald writes “an elegant young redneck… whose formality of speech just missed the absurd… he was picking his words with care.” Whereas Gatsby’s parties are attended by a plethora of hedonists, he himself seems rather down-to-earth. He is composed and calm. Fitzgerald creates this elusive character to show the dishonesty and mistrust he held for the upper-class in society. This scene is vastly different to the introduction of Jeff in ‘R’. Hitchcock opened with this sweaty forehead as one of the first frames we see. Jeff is thrown straight into our faces, whereas Gatsby is sought after by Nick. The overall aim of the novel is to show the falsehood of the upper-class. By creating a character as abstruse as Gatsby, he does just that. The slow reveal of the persona of Gatsby is just one of the techniques employed by Fitzgerald to shape memorable characters.
The key scene of ‘R’ is when Jeff’s suspicions are aroused about the death of Mrs. Thorwald. Hitchcock shows us these suspicions by using the Kuleshov effect in editing. He cuts between the inquisitive gaze of Jeff and other characters such as Ms. Torso and Thorwald...