Character Analysis of Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby

Pages: 3 (1018 words) Published: June 10, 2013
Nick Carraway is an important character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. Throughout the book, Nick struggles to understand the world around him and the people in it. Why are some people so careless while other people are so cautious? Why do people wait around for things to happen instead of going out and making them happen? And most of all, with all the people in the world, how can one still feel so lonely? It’s not hard to pick up on Nick’s detachment, “I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others too- poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner- young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.” The author’s portrayal on loneliness is pretty universal, yet inexplicably romantic, when he describes the “poor young clerks.” Dining alone in public is a motif for solitude because nearly everyone uses eating, usually dinner, as a reason to get out and be sociable or intimate. He also mentions the “young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.” Dusk is a very profound time of day. It’s subtle and has an inconspicuous sophistication to it, which gives it some kind of unique character, so to misuse it would be a lost opportunity. Nick is very sentimental and seems to be trapped in the labyrinth of his own mind. He tries to cope with his solitude by being independent, “I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park through the soft twilight but each time I tried to go I became entangled in some wild, strident argument which pulled me back, as if with ropes, into my chair. Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life,” but he gets carried away by conversation....
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