The Great Gatsby Narrator Essay

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Often, the author of a novel chooses to write in first person, or make the main character the narrator. However, in The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald chose to make Nick Carraway the narrator, creating a unique situation since he was neither the main character, nor was he uninvolved in the story. Nick Carraway stands out among the wealthy crowd of New York, as life to him means more than its superficial distortion, revealing the complexity of his character. However, he uses trust he gains as a character as an advantage, even though he proves to be an unreliable narrator, to manipulate the readers and alter their judgements to match his own. Some could also argue that Nick’s narration shows the readers a different, “real” side to The Great Gatsby,…show more content…
His interactions and conversations depict how different he is from the rest of the wealthy crowd, as he stands out among them due to their difference in morals. At Gatsby’s party, it seemed as though Nick was the only person with the decency to greet the host, “This is an unusual party for me. I haven’t even seen the host.” (47). Nobody knew where Gatsby was when Nick asked around, which shows that he was not as materialistic as the rest of the guests. Emphasizing their different values, Nick’s discomfort with meeting Myrtle for the first time showed through in an attempt to distance himself, ‘“Hold on,” I said, “I have to leave you here.” “No you don’t,” interposed Tom quickly. “Myrtle’ll be hurt if you don’t come up to the apartment.” (28). “Well, i’d like to, but----” (28). Nick claims to be one of the few honest people he knows, and his honesty shows through with his distaste for Tom’s dishonest relationship with Myrtle. Nick realizes that he is different, and comes to dislike the people he is surrounded by, like Tom, Jordan and Daisy, but believes Gatsby is different. He expresses this opinion just before Gatsby’s death, “I remembered something and turned around. "They're a rotten crowd," I shouted across the lawn. "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." (8.44-45) Nick, who is “inclined to reserve all judgements”, makes a huge…show more content…
The main reason he came to New York is because he longed for its excitement, but eventually realized that it was not worth sacrificing his principles. “Even when the East excited me most, even when I was most keenly aware of its superiority to the bored, sprawling swollen towns beyond the Ohio, with their interminable inquisitions which spared only the children and the very old---even then it always for me had a quality of distortion” (176) Eventually, Nick found that East Egg had a surreal quality to it, and found it “distorted” due to this. He found the society of the rich too superficial and conceited, almost completely materialistic and twisted in a way. East Egg for Nick, distorted reality where the wealthy lived in a bubble where life was untangled to an indulgence of inclinations. Similarly, Nick is always swinging back and forth in his relationship with Jordan. “Jordan Baker instinctively avoided clever, shrewd men, and now I saw that this was because she felt safer on a plane where any divergence from a code would be thought impossible. She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage.” (58). Jordan avoided clever men fearing they would reveal to her what she really was, which would not live up to her own idealized version of herself. Nick describes her as “incurable dishonest”,
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