The Shape of The Great Gatsby

According to Kurt Vonnegut’s theory on the shapes of stories, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, has a shape which defines the plot structure of the novel. I drew a picture with Vonnegut’s two axis (good/ill fortune and beginning/end). The plot line varies back and forth from good to bad, ultimately ending in a steady downfall to depression, death, all things bad. Here ya go! (Also, I apologize in advance because I am not an artist…..)



If you cannot read this text, it goes something like this:

*Nick moves to West Egg and sees his cousin, Daisy. He also meets Jay Gatsby for the first time.

*Nick discovers that Daisy’s husband, Tom, is having an affair.

*Nick learns about Daisy and Gatsby’s past and is suddenly pulled into their relationship.

*Gatsby still loves Daisy, and he throws parties to get her attention. He is depressed until…

*Daisy and Gatsby reconnect with Nick’s help and begin an affair!!!

*Tom then becomes suspicious of Gatsby.

*Daisy and Tom fight. Daisy becomes upset and drives away, accidentally hitting Tom’s mistress and killing her.

*Gatsby shot dead in his pool, suspected to have killed Tom’s mistress.

Something I recently viewed on the Internet also made me think about the shapes of stories. Specifically, this is something that represents a digital story. In my Social Issues class at Mary Washington, we viewed a video on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this video, it uses images and video media techniques to tell the “story” of how human rights were essentially born and the ways in which they are followed, or not adhered to, today. It also brings the text of the Declaration to life via images (clip art, real life recordings, snapshots of documents) and sound (narration, interviews, background music, sound effects).

One thought on “The Shape of The Great Gatsby

  1. Ashlyn

    I really like how you talked about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for your example of a digital story. I think it was really creative to link a document like that to this class and notice how the video accompanying it does indeed tell a story to it’s viewers. It wasn’t something I had really thought of before now, so I think that’s really cool!


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