Theme Of Appearance In The Great Gatsby

1758 Words8 Pages
American society in the 1920s, as presented by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, is extremely superficial and obsessed with wealth, status, and appearance. Ironically, though, what lies beneath the beauty is the truth, neglected by the characters in the novel. Such deceptive nature of appearance is highlighted through the effective use of an unreliable narrator, a seemingly perfect setting, and dishonest characters. Fitzgerald employs the factors to force the readers to face the fact that appearances tend to be misleading and deceitful.

Fitzgerald’s deliberate use of Nick Carraway as the book’s narrator results in the confusion between the reality and what Nick believes to be true, and this emphasises how appearances can be deceptive. The unreliability of Nick as the narrator is revealed at numerous times, especially when he claims to “have been drunk just twice in my [Nick’s] life.” This is an apparent lie, since he is a recovering alcoholic who drinks frequently throughout the book - many scenes in The Great Gatsby are told when Nick is drunk, which indicates how the stories will be unclear and biased. Additionally, Nick often distorts reality and over dramatises certain incidents. For instance, when Myrtle phones Tom during dinner in Chapter 1, Nick’s response “was to telephone immediately for the police” - in reality, however, nothing has happened except that the mood has been broken. He could have felt uncomfortable and vulnerable, but he dramatises the

More about Theme Of Appearance In The Great Gatsby

Open Document