Narrative Analysis of Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 3 (898 words) Published: April 6, 2011
Nick in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald wrote this story in first person narrative, from the viewpoint of Nick. The interesting thing about this narrative structure is that Nick is not the main character, but rather a witness of the main character. He is proven unreliable and biased many times throughout the story by concealing particular events, revealing his judgments of other characters and lying. Nick writes to create the impression he desires.

As the narrator, Nick has the opportunity to disguise and emphasize certain character and situations within the story. It is clear that Nick is leaving his unfavourable occurrences unmentioned. It is noted that much of his mysterious night with Mr. McKee is concealed, seeing as the only portion that the reader knows of is when “[Nick] was standing beside [Mr. McKee’s] bed and he was sitting up between the sheets , clad in his underwear” (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 38). This isn’t the only one of his relationships kept secret within the novel, either. Nick also hides the identity of the person he had “been writing letters [to] once a week and signing them: ‘Love Nick’” (Fitzgerald, 58). He only allows a vague glimpse into the person he is; however, he spends much time and great effort sharing his personal analysis of others. In fact, the little information he does provide, and emphasize, about himself is of how “[he is] one of the few honest people [he has] ever known” (Fitzgerald, 59).

Honesty is a very common theme in this story. Nick makes many attempts to convince the audience that he is trustworthy throughout the novel. He seems to see himself as morally superior to any of the other characters in the story, noting that “a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth” (Fitzgerald, 2). He makes a point to mention his father’s lecture to him, “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just...
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