The Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 4 (1700 words) Published: December 13, 2012
The Great Gatsby Essay

“Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known" (Page 59). So writes Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald's “The Great Gatsby”, characterizing himself in opposition to the great masses of humanity as a perfectly honest man. The honesty that Nick attributes to himself must be a nearly perfect one, by impression of both its infrequency and its "cardinal" nature; Nick stresses that he is among the most honest people he has ever encountered. As Carraway familiarizes himself with the lives of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker and Jay Gatsby, he realizes the false seductiveness of the New York lifestyle and regains respect for the Midwest he left behind. Events in the book, however, do not bear this self-characterization out; far from being among the most honest people in world, Nick Carraway is in fact a proficient liar, though he never loses his blind faith in his own pure honesty. He is not an innocent by-stander of the time; he is an active participant of all that can be viewed as morally wrong, and therefore is not “honest” and is furthermore subjected to presenting the reader with a biased outlook.  Nick aims for the readers to believe that the way he was raised gives him the right to pass judgement on an immoral world. He says, that as a consequence of the way he was raised he is "inclined to reserve all judgements" about other people (Page 1). Nick believes that all women are dishonest, as this is part of his character. At the beginning of the novel as he implies that he is not judgmental, Nick makes judgments based on unreliable information of many characters; one being Jordan Baker. However, Nick says that it is expected for women to lie therefore, it is acceptable (emphasizing his sexism) to give Nick more of a reason to believe Jordan is dishonest due to rumors being spread by other characters in the novel. On the other hand,...
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