Point of View, Telephones, Doubling, and Vicarious Learning in The Great Gatsby Journal Article uri icon



  • Imitation is not only the sincerest form of flattery, but also a shortcut to understanding a person's psyche and the reasons or motives behind it. To achieve psychological depth, writers enter vicariously into the lives of their characters; a few also allow a character to enter into the person of another. Such is the case with the novelist William Kennedy. Kennedy learned this trick of having one character slip into another's point of view from the example of Nick Carraway, the first-person narrator in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. So great was Kennedy's anxiety about Fitzgerald's influence that Kennedy made sure to sprinkle in his novel the names Fitzgerald and Gatsby, as if pleading nolo contendere and asking the reader to judge not the morality but the artistry of his borrowing. Here, Levitt examines The Great Gatsby and the workings of the point of view.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012

Date in CU Experts

  • September 30, 2013 12:25 PM

Full Author List

  • Levitt PM

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0026-3451

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 299

end page

  • 306,213


  • 53


  • 3