The Underlying Mystery
The novel The Great Gatsby was written and published in the 1920’s, a time where homosexuality was forbidden both legally and socially. Some authors in this era implied homosexuality in the undertones of their book, which is how Fitzgerald wrote Nick Carraway, so he is not publicly frowned upon.
Nick is from the upper midwest and potentially raised from the typical midwestern values. Most of the midwestern being very conservative, or traditional, likely gives Nick yet another reason to be closeted, out of fear of social rejection, since he is determined to make his way in the social world. “A decade of loneliness, a thinning list of young men to know.” (Fitzgerald, 81). He relies on being social to withhold his social status he has built up overtime, although he does believe “‘they’re [Tom, Daisy and Jordan] a rotten crowd’” (160). When Nick describes the female characters he is around, he speaks of Jordans “erect carriage” (8), how Daisy speaks, and Myrtles’ lack of beauty. Only while describing the men in the book, both Gatsby and Tom, he spends time to deeply talk about their features, their smiles, their eyes, their bodies, how they stand, the look of dominance, etc.
It is very obvious in the book, if you look deep enough and read inbetween the lines, Nick is not sexually attracted to the women he is around, including the beautiful female strangers at Gatsby’s parties. He chooses to follow a man home after leaving Catherine, Myrtle's sister behind. The man, Mr. Mckee, is explained by Nick as “feminine” (34), and explains his wife as “handsome and horrible” (30). Both Nick and Mr. Mckee sneak out of the party together, fairly late in the night, leaving Lucille Mckee behind. Going down the elevator Chester Mckee asks Nick out “to lunch some day” (42), Nick agrees. Later on, they get back to Mr. Mckee’s home, and he undresses, then gets into bed. “I was standing beside the bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear, with a great portfolio in his hands.” (38) Whether Nick is dressed or not will forever be unclear. If Mckee was only showing Nick his photographs, he wouldn't have to be laying in bed down to his underwear to do so. As Mckee sleeps, Nick takes out