Knowing One's Own Self In The Great Gatsby

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The quote by Lao Tzu states that a person who knows others is knowledgeable as they can understand them, their actions and their motivations. The quote also states that understanding one’s own self is even more important and beneficial, as it allows one to be ‘enlightened.’ Being ‘enlightened’ refers to having the knowledge and ability to surpass judgement and misinformation. This suggests that knowing one’s own self, and having formed an identity, means that not only is a person able to understand their own self, but can also better judge others. It may also indicate that the person who knows himself is less liable themselves to be affected by the judgements of others. Although in the various texts studied, these ideas may not be stated explicitly, one can consider the implications. In the novel The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, the protagonist is Jay Gatsby. However, the sentiments of the quotation are not only pertinent to him, but also the narrator of the story, Nick Carraway. To begin with, Nick Carraway is able to describe himself how he wishes, as the novel is given from his perspective. How he sees the other characters in the novel also influences the reader’s opinions of them, as the reader receives only information about them from Nick. Nick states at the beginning of the novel that he ‘reserves all judgement,’ and is therefore trustworthy, but there are certain reasons for the reader to believe that he is possibly unreliable, such as his negative

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