Great Gatsby Character Analysis: Nick Carraway

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West meets East... and Doesn’t Like it.

The novel The Great Gatsby is an interesting tale of two cities really. Nick Carraway; the narrator, represents all that is good an wholesome in the great midwest. He is a well-educated man who aspires to be a bond broker. His character is conflicted internally and externally throughout the novel but really culminates into a loathing for all things eastern. Carraway’s farmboy charm and doe-eyed innocence is put to the test when he meets The Great Jay Gatsby. Gatsby represents all things Nick is unfamiliar with and is curious about. Nick, being from the midwest, has no real street smarts so when he meets the “wicked” east, his lack of experience is proof positive that he really does not belong there. Nick Carraway narrates his way through the novel and shines the harsh light of reality on the east and himself. The pursuit of happiness in the American Dream and the realization of the desire for traditional moral values combined with the introduction of the catalyst for destruction, makes Nick Carraway an interesting character.

The Carraway family is your typical midwestern family with ties dating back to before the Civil War. Morality, decency and hard work are common place to the Carraways and they took pride in instilling these values in Nick. The obsession of attaining the American Dream through hard work and sweat are paramount on Nick’s agenda but he is naive to the ways of the “new money” he encounters in East Egg. The obsession of living the American Dream seems to be clouded with all the things that indicate the attainment of the dream. The cars, money, women and possessions that Nick finds in the new land of Gatsby make him realize that he really longs for the simplicity of his old midwestern life. For Daisy, the American Dream is everlasting wealth, for Nick it is something altogether more complicated and it almost slips through his fingers.

The author puts Nick in the middle of a romantic...
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