🔥🔥🔥 Character Analysis Of The Giver
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The Giver by Lois Lowry - Chapter 1
The type of narration influences the way such background information is relayed or dispensed. A first person narrator, however, should only be able to convey any backstory or emotional information in a limited way. Dialogue between characters is an effective method to convey exposition. An exchange of words can introduce important background information in a natural and unforced way within a story. Dialogue is an indirect way of incorporating critical details in expository writing. Conversation and even argument allows a writer to illuminate backstory and context for the reader to achieve greater understanding of the narrative, plot, characters, etc, in a story or novel. An internal monologue allows a character to express their innermost thoughts and feelings to the reader in a candid manner.
This provides revealing elements and insight in terms of the character themselves, other characters, and perceptions of events in the story. In literature, exposition conveys information that advances the plot of a story and provides insight into characters. This literary device requires an artistic touch so that writers offer their readers enough necessary context for understanding a story without overwhelming them with tedious or inessential detail.
Here are some examples of exposition in literary works:. I wondered what he looked like now. He had been picked up, the evening before, in a raid on an apartment downtown, for peddling and using heroin. Since the narration is in the first person, readers are offered exposition about the characters and events through the point of view of the protagonist. This establishes an intimacy in terms of the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. This gives the reader insight into the complex relationship between the brothers and the potential conflict to ensue in the story.
I think it would seem a little easier if the memories were shared. They selected me — and you — to lift that burden from themselves. The above passage is an example of exposition through dialogue between the characters of Jonas and The Giver. As Jonas asks more questions of The Giver, the reader develops a greater connection to and understanding of this society and the behavior of its characters. I was sad that nobody had come to my birthday party, but happy that I had a Batman figure, and there was a birthday present waiting to be read, a boxed set of the Narnia books, which I took upstairs.
You can read in detail about these lines in our article about the novel's ending. Nick is the narrator, but he is not omniscient he can't see everything , and he's also very human and flawed. In other words, he's an unreliable narrator, sometimes because he's not present for a certain event, other times because he presents the story out of order, and finally because he sometimes obscures the truth. It takes most students two reads of the novel to even catch the fact that Nick has a woman waiting for him back in the Midwest. Because of his unreliable narrator status, the central questions many teachers try to get at with Nick is to explore his role in the story, how the story would be different without his narration, and how he compares to Gatsby.
In short, you often have to analyze Nick as a character, not the narrator. This can be tricky because you have to compare Nick's narration with his dialogue, his actions, and how he chooses to tell the story. You also have to realize that when you're analyzing the other characters, you're doing that based on information from Nick, which may or may not be reliable. Basically, nothing we hear in the novel can be completely accurate since it comes through the necessarily flawed point of view of a single person. The best way to analyze Nick himself is to choose a few passages to close read, and use what you observe from close-reading to build a larger argument.
Pay close attention to moments, especially Nick's encounters with Jordan, that give you a glimpse at Nick's emotions and vulnerabilities. We will demonstrate this in action below! Pictured: the rose-tinted glasses Nick apparently starts to see Gatsby through. Since Nick gives a roughly chronological account of the summer of , we get to see the development of Gatsby from mysterious party-giver to love-struck dreamer to tragic figure who rose from humble roots and became rich, all in a failed attempt to win over Daisy.
If Gatsby was the narrator, it would be harder for Fitzgerald to show that progression, unless Gatsby relayed his life story way out of order, which might have been hard to accomplish from Gatsby's POV. The novel would have also been a much more straightforward story, probably with less suspense: Gatsby was born poor in South Dakota, became friends with Dan Cody, learned how to act rich, lost Cody's inheritance, fell in love with Daisy, fought in the war, became determined to win her back, turned to crime.
In short, Fitzgerald could have told the same story, but it would have had much less suspense and mystery, plus it would have been much harder to relay the aftermath of Gatsby's death. Unless the point of view abruptly switched after Gatsby was shot, the reader would have no idea what exactly happened to Gatsby, what happened to George Wilson, and finally wouldn't be able to see Gatsby's funeral. Plus, with a narrator other than Gatsby himself, it's easier to analyze Gatsby as a character. Nick is very observant, and he is able to notice things about Gatsby, like the way he misses social cues , subtle shifts in his mood, and even smaller details like his arresting smile.
We probably wouldn't have seen these facets of Gatsby if Gatsby himself were telling the story. Finally, since Nick is both "within and without" the New York elite, he is an excellent ticket in to the reader—he can both introduce us to certain facets of that world while also sharing in much of our shock and skepticism. Nick is just like the "new student at school" or "new employee" trope that so many movies and TV shows use as a way to introduce viewers into a new world.
With Gatsby as narrator, it would be harder to observe all the details of the New York social elite. In many ways, Nick is an unreliable narrator: he's dishonest about his own shortcomings downplaying his affairs with other women, as well as his alcohol use , and he doesn't tell us everything he knows about the characters upfront for example, he waits until Chapter 6 to tell us the truth about Gatsby's origins, even though he knows the whole time he's telling the story, and even then glosses over unflattering details like the details of Gatsby's criminal enterprises , and he's often harsh in his judgments and additionally anti-Semitic, racist, and misogynistic.
As a reader, you should be skeptical of Nick because of how he opens the story, namely that he spends a few pages basically trying to prove himself a reliable source see our beginning summary for more on this , and later, how he characterizes himself as "one of the few honest people I have ever known" 3. After all, does an honest person really have to defend their own honesty? However, despite how judgmental he is, Nick is a very observant person, especially in regard to other people, their body language, and social situations. For example, in Chapter 6, Nick immediately senses Gatsby isn't really welcome at the Sloanes' house before Tom says it outright.
Nick is also able to accurately predict Daisy won't leave Tom at the end of Chapter 1, after observing her standing in the door with Tom: "I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove away. It seemed to me that the thing for Daisy to do was to rush out of the house, child in arms—but apparently there were no such intentions in her head" 1. If only Jay could have seen Daisy's intentions so clearly! In short, Nick delegates to another narrator when he knows he doesn't have enough information , and makes sure the reader comes away with a clear understanding of the fundamental events of the tragedy. In short, you shouldn't believe everything Nick says, especially his snobbier asides, but you can take his larger characterizations and version of events seriously.
But as you read, try to separate Nick's judgments about people from his observations! A hero, or protagonist, is generally the character whose actions propel the story forward, who the story focuses on, and they are usually tested or thwarted by an antagonist. So in the most traditional sense, Gatsby is the hero —he drives the action of the story by getting Jordan and Nick to reintroduce him to Daisy which leads to the affair, confrontation in Manhattan, the death of Myrtle, and then the murder-suicide , he goes up against an antagonist of sorts Tom , and the story ends with his death.
Gatsby's story is thus a cynical take on the traditional rags-to-riches story. However, some people see the protagonist as also the person who changes the most in the course of a story. In this case, you might argue that since Nick changes a lot during the novel see below , while Gatsby during the story itself doesn't change dramatically his big character changes come before the chronology of the novel , that Nick is in fact the protagonist. Nick's story is a take on the coming of age narrative—he even has an important birthday 30 in the novel! Basically, if you think the protagonist is the character who propels the action of the story, and someone who has an antagonist, it's Gatsby. But if you think the protagonist is the person who changes the most, you could argue Nick is the hero.
We never get a physical description of Nick, so don't blame yourself if your mental image of him is bland and amorphous like this fellow. And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees—just as things grow in fast movies—I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. There was so much to read for one thing and so much fine health to be pulled down out of the young breath-giving air. As the summer goes on, he meets someone wildly more hopeful than he is—Gatsby, of course—and he begins to be more cynical in how he views his own life in comparison, realizing that there are certain memories and feelings he can no longer access.
Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something—an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man's, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever. Finally, after the deaths of Myrtle, Gatsby, and Wilson, as well as the passing of his thirtieth birthday, Nick is thoroughly disenchanted, cynical, regretful, even angry, as he tries to protect Gatsby's legacy in the face of an uncaring world, as well as a renewed awareness of his own mortality. Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
After Gatsby's death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes' power of correction. On the last night, with my trunk packed and my car sold to the grocer, I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more. On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight and I erased it, drawing my shoe raspingly along the stone. Nick goes from initially taken with Gatsby, to skeptical, to admiring, even idealizing him, over the course of the book.
When he first meets Gatsby in Chapter 3, he is drawn in by his smile and immediately senses a peer and friend, before of course Gatsby reveals himself as THE Jay Gatsby:. 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 external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
In Chapter 4, Nick is highly skeptical of Gatsby's story about his past, although he is somewhat impressed by the medal from "little Montenegro" 4. He looked at me sideways—and I knew why Jordan Baker had believed he was lying. He hurried the phrase "educated at Oxford," or swallowed it or choked on it as though it had bothered him before. And with this doubt his whole statement fell to pieces and I wondered if there wasn't something a little sinister about him after all.
He also seems increasingly skeptical after his encounter with Meyer Wolfshiem, who Nick describes very anti-Semitically. When Wolfshiem vouches for Gatsby's "fine breeding," 4. In Chapter 5, as Nick observes the reunion between Gatsby and Daisy, he first sees Gatsby as much more human and flawed especially in the first few minutes of the encounter, when Gatsby is incredibly awkward , and then sees Gatsby has transformed and "literally glowed" 5. Notice how warm Nick's description is:.
But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding. He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room 5. In Chapter 6, Nick honestly and frankly observes how Gatsby is snubbed by the Sloanes, but he seems more like he's pitying Gatsby than making fun of him.
It almost seems like he's trying to protect Gatsby by cutting off the scene just as Gatsby comes out the door, coat in hand, after the Sloanes have coldly left him behind:. Tom and I shook hands, the rest of us exchanged a cool nod and they trotted quickly down the drive, disappearing under the August foliage just as Gatsby with hat and light overcoat in hand came out the front door. By Chapter 7, during the confrontation in the hotel, Nick is firmly on Gatsby's side, to the point that he is elated when Gatsby reveals that he did, in fact, attend Oxford but didn't graduate:.
I wanted to get up and slap him on the back. I had one of those renewals of complete faith in him that I'd experienced before. As the rest of the novel plays out, Nick becomes more admiring of Gatsby, even as he comes to dislike the Buchanans and Jordan, by extension more and more. Why exactly Nick becomes so taken with Gatsby is, I think, up to the reader. In my reading, Nick, as someone who rarely steps outside of social boundaries and rarely gets "carried away" with love or emotion see how coldly he ends not one but three love affairs in the book! Gatsby's fate also becomes entangled with Nick's own increased cynicism, both about his future and life in New York, so he clings to the memory of Gatsby and becomes determined to tell his story.
At first, this might not seem plausible—Nick dates Jordan during the book and also admits to a few other love affairs with women and at one point confesses to being "half in love with [Jordan]. First of all, consider the odd moment at the end of Chapter 2 that seems to suggest Nick goes home with Mr. I was standing beside his bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear , with a great portfolio in his hands.
Then I was lying half asleep in the cold lower level of the Pennsylvania Station, staring at the morning "Tribune" and waiting for the four o'clock train. Nick's narration is confused and sporadic as he was quite drunk after the party. However, what we do see—the elevator boy chiding him to "keep your hands off the lever" hint hint wink wink nudge nudge , shortly followed by Nick saying "I was standing beside [Mr. McKee's bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear"—seems to pretty strongly suggest a sexual encounter.
And in a novel that is so short and carefully constructed, why add this short scene unless it's supposed to help us understand Nick? Some people see that scene as a confirmation of Nick's sexual preference, or at least an indication he's attracted to men as well as women. However, since this was the s, he couldn't exactly be out and proud, which is why he would never frankly admit to being attracted to men in his sober narration. So instead, as the theory goes, his love for and attraction to for Gatsby is mirrored through a filter of intense admiration.
So, using this reading, The Great Gatsby is narrated by a man suffered from unrequited love. Do you have to take this reading as fact? Not at all. But if you're curious you can check out a fuller write-up of the "Nick as gay" reading and decide for yourself. These are questions students often have about Nick after reading the book, but ones that don't always come up in classroom discussions or essay topics. Read on if you still have unanswered questions about Nick! Also, be sure to let us know in the comments if you have more questions about Nick! Nick says in his opening narration that most people in the east have earned his "unaffected scorn," so it's confusing to see him cozy up to Jordan in the next few chapters 1.
However, keep in mind that scorn is earned over the course of the novel, and Nick writes the opening narration looking back at everything. So before the tragic conclusion, Nick actually is strongly attracted to Jordan and hasn't yet realized that her attractive skepticism actually means she can be callous and uncaring. Our quote above from Chapter 4, as Nick finds himself attracted to the "hard, clean, limited" Jordan, illustrates that strong initial attraction.
But post break-up, do they still feel anything for each other? Their break-up scene is really helpful to analyze to answer this question:. I don't give a damn about you now but it was a new experience for me and I felt a little dizzy for a while. Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to make such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person.
I thought it was your secret pride. She didn't answer. Jordan, for her part, seems to admit to having genuinely liked Nick when they break up at the end and was quite hurt. And Nick, for once, is a mess of emotions: "angry" and "half in love. Of course, if you subscribe to the "Nick loves Gatsby" theory you could chalk much of this scene up to repressed desires, especially Nick's comment about not wanting to lie to himself. This statement officially marks Nick's disillusionment with the East Coast, old money crowd.
Remember that this line comes after the car accident, and the scene in the hotel just before that, so he's just seen Daisy and Tom's ugliest behavior. Nick is proud of the statement since it was one of the last things he ever got to say to Gatsby. What can be a bit harder to spot is when exactly Nick's earlier distrust of Gatsby morphed into respect.Josephson, M. Character Analysis Of The Giver York, Crown. The best test is: do Character Analysis Of The Giver served grow as persons: do they, while being Character Analysis Of The Giver, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? Jon Scieszka. Bahram was the name of six Sasanian kings:. Closely related to Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion, the ability to foresee the likely outcome of asituation Character Analysis Of The Giver hard to define, but easier to identify.