Commentary on One Character in the Great Gatsby - Nick Carraway

Topics: Morality, The Great Gatsby Pages: 3 (878 words) Published: July 20, 2013
Nick Carraway contributes to the Great Gatsby as the unbiased narrator. The tragic love story of 1922 is accounted through Nick’s eyes, with Nick serving as an observer of the relationship between the characters, in particular Gatsby and Daisy’s, the main lovers of the story. Nick’s retrospective view of the story emphasizes his dynamic character as his thoughts and perceptions of the characters display his loyalty towards Gatsby, and justice and honesty towards the judgement of events, though it is seen by the end of the story that his moral values have been debased by the shallow and corrupted lifestyle of the East.

The Great Gatsby is told entirely through Nick’s perspective; this can be said that he is observing the events of the story instead of being involved in it directly. Nick can be seen as a trustworthy narrator, as he learned from his father that he should be ‘inclined to reserve all judgements.’ Furthermore, Nick takes pride in his honesty, ‘I am one of the few honest people I have ever known.’ This suggests that Nick gives an unbiased account of the events and a fair judgement on all the characters in the story. However, this is changed by the end of the novel as Nick judges both Tom and Daisy; he ‘objects to shaking hands’ with Tom during their brief encounter in New York, and describes the Buchanans as ‘careless people…smashes up things and creatures…let other people clean up the mess they had made’. This sheds light on Nick’s harsher perceptions of the Buchanans after Gatsby’s death, in contrast to his ‘inclinations to reserve all judgement’ in the beginning, accentuating his change of character and morality in effect of living in the East with the wealthy but shallow. In addition, Nick’s account of the story creates a stark contrast between the lifestyle in the East and the West. The West is associated with traditional, conservative values, in paradox to the urbanized, controversial and racy lifestyle in the East. As Nick attends a party in...
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