Dishonesty In The Great Gatsby

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Lying is a part of life. From the conman on the street to the nun in the church, everyone has been dishonest within their lifetime, whether to trick someone or to protect someone. However, The Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway is not lying when he says that “[he is] one of the few honest people that [he has] even known” (59). Yet, he is still not an honest man. Nick is a narrator expertly tailored to match the story he tells, recounting a world in which everyone he has ever known trades truth and transparency for the shining ideals of cultured living and wealth. He is a dishonest man in a dishonest world. Although he is convinced of this own veracity, Nick’s actions and lack of action suggest something else. He is dishonest with those around…show more content…
Firstly, his closest friend, Gatsby, fabricates a name and history for himself in order to hide his less than moneyed upbringing. Furthermore, Gatsby acquires his princely riches through bootlegging. Nick’s comrade and fixation is untruthful in virtually every area of his life. However, the other people in Nick’s life exhibit similar dishonesty without any of Gatsby’s redeeming qualities. Although Nick is not particularly close to Tom, his cousin’s husband is another prominent example of a guileful figure within Nick’s life. Nick’s perspective lover, Jordan, is yet another example of a chronic liar in Nick’s social circle. When describing her, he goes so far as to say that “she was incurably dishonest” (58), a description far beyond his typical disapproving tone. Surrounded by men and women who actively live double-lives, Nick’s sins of keeping secrets and retouching the truth seem quite venial. Nick is extremely aware of this comparative righteousness – as he says “every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues” (59). Through both his own overly flattering view of himself and his circumstances, Nick comes to firmly believe in his own
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