The line of attack we use in order to identify individuals around us is an intriguing thing. Our perception is forever shifting, forever building, and affected not only by the person’s actions, but by the actions of those around them. In Scott F. Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby Nick Caraway’s perception of Jay Gatsby is always changing. All the way through the novel, Nick’s perception of Gatsby changes from him perceived as a rich chap, to a man that lives in the past, to a man trying to achieve his aspirations but has failed.
In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick’s unreliability as a narrator is blatantly evident, as his view of Gatsby’s actions seems to arbitrarily shift between disapproval and approval. Nick is an unreliable and hypocritical narrator who disputes his own background information and subjectively depicts Gatsby as a benevolent and charismatic host while ignoring his flaws and immorality from illegal activities. He refuses to seriously contemplate Gatsby’s negative attributes because of their strong mutual friendship and he is blinded by an unrealized faith in Gatsby. Furthermore, his multitude of discrepancies damage his ethos appeal and contribute to his lack of dependability.
During one of the key scenes in the novel in the ------ hotel, Nick, his narration and point of view once again allow more of an insight to Gatsby, which allows my admiration to grow. If not for Nick, and his input in the events, many people would see Gatsby as a sly shallow liar who invents stories merely to entertain acquaintances. Instead of this however, nick says,
Nick sees Gatsby as the beacon of human perfection a man with a dream so pure it couldn’t be corrupted by anyone. Nick sees this once incorruptible dream in the “Gatsby believed in the Green light, the orgastic future…” (Fitzgerald 180). Nick’s tone shows that he saw Gatsby’s dream not what the end goal was but what the dream symbolized. The dream of Gatsby was treated so poorly as if it meant nothing to everybody, and Nick could sympathize with this dream for, in the beginning, Nick was much the very same way weak and vulnerable to the power of everyone else. Gatsby’s dream only grow the more he wanted to achieve it and Nick grows in character from watching Gatsby never give up on it. Gatsby teaches Nick to be dignified indirectly and teaches him to see the world as a place that is formal and filled with dignity. When Gatsby is murdered because of the corrupt people around him, Gatsby’s dream dies with him, and Nick is tormented by the absence of the once great Gatsby. Nick later walks the streets of the once great wonderland and sees its wonder no longer, “After Gatsby’s death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes’ power of correction” (Fitzgerald 176) Nick has been taught by Gatsby that the world should be seen as formal and be dignified, and with this knowledge he realizes that the
In The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway functions as both the foil and protagonist, as well as the narrator. A young man from Minnesota, Nick travels to the West Egg in New York to learn about the bond business. He lives in the district of Long Island, next door to Jay Gatsby, a wealthy young man known for throwing lavish parties every night. Nick is gradually pulled into the lives of the rich socialites of the East and West Egg. Because of his relationships with Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom, and others, along with his nonjudgmental demeanor, Nick is able to undertake the many roles of the foil, protagonist, and the narrator of The Great Gatsby.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, is a story filled with love and loss. Love of people, love of things, loss of dreams, loss of innocence, loss of love… The Great Gatsby can be seen as a romance novel, or a tragedy, or possibly even a coming of age story for the narrator, Nick Carraway. His position as narrator of this novel shows how Fitzgerald wanted to keep the mythical and almost surreal nature of Mr. Gatsby. Gatsby has money, a high social ranking, extravagant parties, and a girl to dream about endlessly, whereas Nick exists almost in the shadows of Gatsby with no dream at all. Nick watches as Gatsby’s life changes and falls apart around him, and Nick’s opinion of him varies and fluctuates at times, but he was also the closest friend Gatsby had ever had. Nick illustrates loyalty, divergence, and a lack of ambition throughout his telling of the story, but he is in no way a static character. He is also human, and is flawed, and has kept his morals throughout life, making him the only character in the story who can really change at all. When Nick moved to West Egg, he probably did not expect to learn so much in the
Nick’s behavioural changes are one the most evident changes that the reader is able to notice after he is invited to Gatsby’s house. These changes could be regarded as either negative or positive depending on how the reader interprets them. “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.”(pg. 59), this is one of Nick’s quote from the beginning of the story before he meets Gatsby, he states that he is very honest to himself and to others but the reader soon finds out that is not the case. Nick is not an honest individual because after Gatsby is accused for Myrtle Wilson’s murder he does not speak up and tell Tom Buchanan and George Wilson (Myrtle’s husband) as to whom committed the crime. This misunderstanding ultimately leads to the death of Jay Gatsby as he shot my George at his Mansion. These series of events are important to Nick’s behavioural changes as the reader to notice how being in Gatsby’s mansion had affected his honesty. Another behavioural change the reader is able to notice is Nick’s drinking habit as he starts to drink more when he first enters one of Gatsby’s parties. Chapter two of “The Great Gatsby” is where the
Secondly, Gatsby is a very mysterious character. Nick has been Gatsby’s neighbor, or so he thinks, and has never met him. Nick says “It was Gatsby’s mansion, or, rather, as I didn’t know Mr. Gatsby, it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name” (5). This shows you that even Gatsby’s own neighbor does not even know who he is; which shows that Gatsby is mysterious. Later on, once he actually meets Gatsby, Nick goes on to say “I don’t like mysteries, and I don’t understand why you won’t come out frankly and tell me what you want. Why does it all have to come through Miss Baker?” (71). As expected, this frustrates Nick and gives him more reason to believe that Gatsby is mysterious and not trustworthy. Nick doesn’t understand why someone who seems to be his friend is hiding so much
One thing that surprises me about Nick is that he was loyal to Gatsby who seemed likeable enough but empty inside. He seemed like the picture was more important than the real person. Nick was interested in person and would put himself in a bad light to help a friend. “I didn’t want to go to the city. I wasn’t worth a decent stroke
The real contradiction to Nick is The Great Gatsby himself, Jay. Jay and Nick share a similar small town upbringing but Jay was able to parle his stolen trades into the corrupted version of the American Dream. Most of what Nick knows about Jay is based on his reputation and it’s not until they actually meet and Nick sees the “quality of distortion” in Jay’s New York lifestyle that Nick sees for himself the illusion that Jay created. Nick is attracted to the high life that Gatsby has created in the valley of ashes. Who can blame him with all the lavish parties, cars, mansions, women and other temptations. It’s like Fitzgerald has placed Nick in the Garden of Eden and the two characters; Nick and Jay, represent the good
Nick is an unreliable narrator. He seems, from the beginning, to be level headed and wholly observant. However, he blacks out when he gets drunk, and we lose time. Also, he is deeply embedded and prejudices us against Tom and for Gatsby.
In The Great Gatsby, Nick’s perspective on others is much different compared to how he responds to Gatsby. Nick sees Tom, Daisy, Jordan, Myrtle, and Wolfshiem all self-centered and shady individuals who are lost in the time era. However, Nick is enlightened by Gatsby; he is interested in Gatsby and uncovering his inner realness since he recognized many characteristics that he wishes people would hold (Bevilacqua). In the first chapter of the novel, when leaving New York heading to the Midwest, he says that he has lost all hope for humans because they have seemed to have lost their morality (Will). Nick continues to say he is one of the few honest people he has met. When he meets Gatsby and starts to discover Gatsby’s emotions, he finds that Gatsby is different from all his other acquaintances; he’s true to his word and proves it all throughout the story.
The Great Gatsby is the story of a man named Jay Gatsby, an eccentric millionaire who lives on Long Island. The whole novel is written in the perspective of Nick Carraway. Nick was originally from the Midwest, but moved to Long Island to get involved in the stock market. From the beginning, Gatsby shows an unusual interest in Nick, which we later discover is because Nick is a cousin of Daisy Buchanan's. Eventually, Gatsby convinces Nick to arrange a meeting between the two. After initially getting back in touch, Gatsby and Daisy begin to see each other frequently, which causes all the conflict in the book. As Nick is telling the story, we see holes in his logic quite often, which leads us to believe not everything he says is completely true. This trait is exactly what makes Nick an unreliable narrator.
In the beginning of the chapter, he tries to win Nick’s favor, offering him a trip to Covey Island and, when he declines, to “take a plunge in the swimming-pool” together (82). During Daisy and Gatsby’s reunion, Nick acts as a third wheel toward the pair. He’s cast aside, but Gatsby refuses to let him leave because “[his] presence made them feel more satisfactorily alone” (94). Though Gatsby does show some genuine affection towards Nick, it’s mostly to earn his kindness and better use him for his own purposes. From Nick’s perspective, he and Gatsby are great friends - and to a certain extent, that is true. But in the end, it wasn’t necessarily Gatsby himself that attracted Nick, it was his incandescence, his dreams and aspirations; he was an enigma - a bright, sparkling enigma in Nick’s eyes. Throughout the book, Nick unconsciously denies this fact, allowing himself to believe that he and Gatsby are close friends. As a result, he continues hanging out with Gatsby, doing whatever he asks, and taking his side in conflicts - not always outright, but in subtle ways.