In ‘The Great Gatsby’ Fitzgerald uses meaningful absence when describing Gatsby, in order to spark curiosity from the reader and consequently engage the audience into the narrative. Through Nick’s narration Fitzgerald presents Gatsby with a religious solemnity ‘out to determine what share was his of our local heavens’ and suggests there is something about Gatsby which is intangible to the reader on the limited information conveyed thus far.
It shows there is an elusiveness that effortlessly sets him out as special. At the end of the opening chapter Fitzgerald firmly separates Gatsby from the narcissism and ignorance of the Tom Buchanan ‘the white race will be – utterly submerged’, as Nick describes how Gatsby was observing the ‘silver pepper of stars’ which creates a feeling that Gatsby is a dreamer who aspires to go onto a better life, this instantly envelops the reader into the novel through an interest and adoration of Gatsby.
Fitzgerald ensures Gatsby’s reputation precedes him, which presents him as aloof and enigmatic. The subject of a whirlwind of gossip before he has been introduced to the reader, the delayed character revelation also suggests a theatrical quality to Gatsby’s character which seamlessly attracts our attention. Furthermore Fitzgerald presents Gatsby and his dream, encapsulated in ‘the green light’, universally which allows the reader to personally relate to the novel.
In the penultimate line of the novel this is portrayed through Fitzgerald’s use of collective pronouns ‘we beat on, boats against the current’, he references the dreamer in all of us and suggests no matter what obstacles ‘current’ may lie in our paths, tomorrow ‘we will run faster’ and ultimately we should never relent until we have secured our dream. Equally, Fitzgerald symbolises Gatsby’s dream through the ‘green light’, the elusiveness about this symbol, the fact it’s ‘nothing except a green light’ allows the reader to relate since it can become symbolic for the hopes and desires of any reader.
The determination of Gatsby, shown though his obsession and concern over his dream ‘trembling’, is inspiring and stimulates the audience’s capacity for greatness, just as Nick was inspired to write about Gatsby and perhaps more importantly Fitzgerald was motivated to write too. In ‘The Kite Runner’ Hosseini uses the contrast between the two protagonists Amir and Hassan to demonstrate the very real division between the Hazaras and Pashtuns within Afghanistan.
Hosseini uses Amir’s viewpoint and thoughts to demonstrate the supercilious nature of many Pashtuns, who believe they are a superior race to the Hazaras. After Hassan’s rape Amir says ‘he was just a Hazara’, the word ‘just’ suggests that because of Hassan’s race, there was no need to intervene in the rape, showing how ingrained racial prejudice is into Afghanistan culture. Furthermore Hassan uses the word ‘agha’ when referring to Amir, this is both a term of endearment for friend, and a sign of respect.
Since Hassan is a Hazara and Amir a Pashtun, Hosseini could be symbolising Hassan’s race’s subservience to Amir’s, rather than a friendship between the two boys. The incorporation and reflection of culture through the two protagonists broadens the narrative and creates a more engaging novel for the reader. Hosseini’s use of Amir’s viewpoint allows us to empathetically experience his emotions and allows us to identify with the troubles of his childhood. Hosseini uses similes to heighten Amir’s guilt after the rape ‘speaking those words was like chewing on a rock.
This language vividly conveys Amir’s emotions to the reader, this allows the reader to relate since we have all had difficulties and conflicts of loyalty during childhood, perhaps not as grave as rape however the connection between the reader and protagonist is still present. Furthermore, Hosseini uses a more reflective tone in some parts of Amir’s speech after Hassan’s rape ‘I ran because I was a coward. I was afraid of Assef and what he would do to me. ’ This shows the reader the repentance of Amir through adult narration since he is now able to fully appreciate the gravity of his actions.
The self-deprecating language ‘coward’ is used also reflects the profound guilt still felt by Amir despite the fact he is narrating this event retrospectively from 26 years ago. Amir’s reflective tone creates a more robust and moral character, therefore the audience feels more sympathetic and consequentially parallels Amir’s hope for redemption, which makes the reader travel a journey similar to that of the protagonist. In ‘1st September 1939’ Auden uses a central character in the first person to reveal the story, this is shown through the use of personal pronouns throughout the narrative ‘I sit.
Auden’s use of a central character in the first person has the effect of immediately forging a bond with the audience, allowing the reader to vicariously experience the narrator’s ‘despair’ as well as the ‘anger and fear’ surrounding the whole of society at the beginning of WW2 ‘September 1939. ’ Furthermore, Auden integrates tension filled words ‘cling’, ‘crave’ in order to reflect the desperation of the voice in the poem concerning the ‘psychopathic god’ of war. The language which so clearly reflects the emotions of the protagonist forces the reader to parallel these feelings, subsequently engaging the reader into the story.
Moreover Auden employs an irregular rhyme scheme to the poem which symbolises the disillusionment and chaos within society and more specifically, the uncertainty of the voice. The devices used by Auden which highlight the emotions of the central voice makes the reader feel connected to the protagonist and thus evokes sympathy. In ‘Miss Gee’ Auden uses the description of Miss Gee to evoke sympathy from the audience and also to reflect the treatment of some people within society.
Auden describes Miss Gee derogatorily, ‘her lips were thin and small’ and ‘no bust at all’, the rhyme between these two statements suggests both these aspects combine to create a banal overall appearance. Furthermore, Auden only uses one stanza to describe Miss Gee’s appearance which reemphasises the normality of her character, alternatively it could suggest that nobody in society knows Miss Gee ‘they didn’t ask her to stay’ thus they cannot provide a heavy description of her. Also Auden contracts words ‘she’d’ which increases the pace of the poem, suggesting nobody desires to talk about her or mention her, showing the isolation of Miss Gee.
Society’s treatment of Miss Gee evokes compassion from the reader and also forces us to reflect on our treatment of others, creating a strong sense of morality within the audience. Auden’s use of direct speech ‘does anyone care’ effectively reflects the profound desperation within Miss Gee’s life, she says ‘anyone’ suggesting she has dire need of human compassion since this word shows it doesn’t matter to her who ‘care(s)’, she just wants someone. These devices all evoke the audience’s empathy which helps to create a more meaningful narrative.