How Is Nick Carraway Selfish

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Nick Carraway is both narrator and participating character in The Great Gatsby. At times he takes centre stage, but at others he stands in the sidelines to give an apparently unbiased perspective on proceedings. He can be accepted as an honest man with integrity. On one level, Nick is an ordinary man, yet in many ways he is more complex and less shallow than the other characters. He comes from a fairly unexceptional, if somewhat privileged, background. His father always reminded him “Whenever you feel like criticising anyone...just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” (pg 1) He reserves judgement to begin with and becomes associated with all sorts of people, but ultimately he sees their true…show more content…
Like many Nick sets off to escape monotony in life and to make his fortune. What elevates him, is the way that he manages not to be taken in by and blinded by the glitzy lifestyle of the socialites. On the contrary, when he realizes what his “social superiors” are really like (shallow, hollow, uncaring, and self-serving), he is disgusted and he distances himself from them even though this means committing social suicide. “they’re a rotten crowd….you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” (pg 142) In Chapter 3, once again Nick comes across as less mercenary than everyone else in the book as he waits for an invitation to attend one of Gatsby 's parties, and also takes the trouble to seek out his host. Nick has what many of the other characters lack — personal integrity — and his sense of right and wrong helps to raise him above the norm. He alone is repulsed by the false nature of the socialites. He alone is moved by Gatsby 's death. When everyone else leaves after Gatsby 's death, Nick, can’t believe that none of Gatsby 's associates will even pay their last respects. He steps in to do what is right. Through the course of The Great Gatsby Nick grows, from a man dreaming of a fortune, to a man who knows only too well what misery a fortune
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