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Nick Carraway In Chapter 2 Of The Great Gatsby

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Nick Carraway is frequently depicted by Fitzgerald as being the centrepiece of morality in this novel. This is made all the more compelling since he is utilised as the primary narrator and speaks in first person throughout and in essence conveys the author’s views on the era. This has the effect of casting moral undertones, as quite often readers are shown contrasts of the rich, supreme and nefarious elite such as Tom Buchanan and Meyer wolfsheim, versus the more principled and righteous middle class as represented by Nick. An example of this is in chapter 2 when nick, along with most modern readers, question the affair Tom and Myrtle engage in. He questions “doesn’t her husband object?” in response to Tom ironically stating that “it does her…show more content…
For a novel that so often reflects on the power of the Catholic Church, Eilis, who is also amplified as a beacon of morality, has pre-marital sex with Tony, whom she apparently falls in love with. This Is shown when the semi omniscient narrator states “he kissed her gently and responded with his tongue only when she opened her mouth for him…opened his trousers enough…pulled his trousers down”. Detailed sexual imagery is employed here to make the passage more dramatically effective and this event is described in formal language reflecting the significance for the both of them. The narrative is handled sensitively by Toibin so that the topic is more symbolic as a consummation of their love, rather than just a sexual encounter. However, pre-marital sex throughout history has been condemned by religious authorities, and in particular the Catholic Church, and the modernisation and secularisation of the western world had not come to fruition at this point. Pre-marital relations were more widely accepted after the 1960s, so it is no surprise that Eilis admits “as soon as she saw Tony that evening she told him they would have to go to confession”. As a result, the morality of Eilis is reiterated, but the previous action still lingers and readers see that she does not exhibit the moral compass we expected, thus Toibin depicts a less moral version of the American…show more content…
We can clearly examine how Daisy is the antithesis to Eilis, in that she desires wealth and status over love and happiness. A prolific example of this when we are first allowed to examine the affair of Tom and Myrtle. Through the lunch scene, “the telephone rang” and we are informed by Jordan Baker that “Tom’s got some woman in New York”. Daisy replies to the situation when she sarcastically says “It’s romantic, isn’t it Tom?” the use of a caesura here slows the pace and reflects her frustration at Tom, however, interestingly, she does nothing to combat this and in essence allows it to progress. She is no longer a helpless victim, as although she allows it to happen, she does not let it get to the point where it humiliates her. The class structure is underlined here as the rich are almost immune to adultery and in turn, immorality. Jordan then states “I thought everybody knew” which reflects how this is not an unusual thing in 1920s society. However, Fitzgerald quickly reassures us that this was only the norm in the upper class when he excellently incorporates innocence and correctness with Nick acting as a vehicle for it; “my own instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.” In conclusion, Fitzgerald illuminates an immoral version of the American Dream, however, this is mostly attributed to the upper class. The motives of the women in this novel however can be to
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