Do We Trust Nick as Narrator in the Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Pages: 2 (787 words) Published: March 7, 2011
“We trust Nick as Narrator of this story because of his honesty” With reference to the first three chapters of the novel, to what extent do you agree? Throughout the first three paragraphs of The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald subtly builds Nick up as a narrator that the reader can trust. He presents Nick as an honest person and well respected gentlemen and through this essay I will discuss to the extent of which Fitzgerald presents Nick as a narrator we can trust through his honesty. In the opening chapter, Fitzgerald lays the groundwork early to establish Nick as someone we can trust. He describes Nick as a “Midwesterner from a respectable family” and explains how he fought honourably in the war before moving to the East to begin a career through work and study in banking. This background information automatically makes Nick a more respectable character and therefore the reader can already trust Nick to a certain degree. Additionally, only two characters work for their living in the novel: George Wilson and Nick Carraway. Therefore Fitzgerald wants us to see Nick as a reliable person whose moral judgment we can trust and hence cast Nick as someone who by nature is not a judgmental person. Fitzgerald wants the readers to believe that the way Nick was raised gives him the right to pass judgement on an immoral world. Fitzgerald writes, that as a consequence of the way Nick was raised he is "inclined to reserve all judgements" about other people. This expressed honestly makes it seem like we can trust him to give a fair unbiased account of the story and therefore showing how it is Nick’s honesty which allows us to trust him as narrator.

Fitzgerald further makes us feel that Nick is a non-partisan narrator by the way he tells of his past. He gives us the impression that Nick is very partial in his way of telling his side of the story. This is shown for example when he admits early in the chapters that he does not judge Gatsby because Gatsby had an "extraordinary gift...
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