Nick Carraway's Role in the Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fiction, The Great Gatsby Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Nick Carraway's Role in The Great Gatsby: It is important to keep a few things in mind about the structure of the novel and about Nick himself. It is through his observations that our opinions of the other characters are formed. Some of his opinions, particularly those of Gatsby, are biased and therefore flawed. He is still a character and is important to the novel in many other respects, as well as being the narrator. Although there are some similarities between Fitzgerald's world and the fictional one in The Great Gatsby, we should keep in mind that although the basis for the novel could have been founded on aspects of his own life, that there are also many dissimilarities as well, and that not every author "speaks" indirectly to us through the voice of the narrator, although with the novel in question, it remains a distinct possibility. We trust Nick Carraway in his role as the narrator. We read the story from his perspective. Therefore, how we perceive the other characters is based on his opinion. This applies not only to the people, but also to events and phenomena as well. Our impression of the novel and its happenings are largely dictated to us by Nick, because he is our eyes as well as our ears in this fictitious world. In telling us his story about the "great man," Jay Gatsby, he goes to quite a length in establishing a credibility which is essential for the story. His reflection on his upbringing, particularly his "advantages," as his father called them, those being his spiritual and moral values only work to build upon his credibility. For example, by saying that his upbringing provided him with the moral fibre and that consequently he is, "inclined to reserve all judgments," about other people provides us with the impression that Nick with give us an accurate, level-headed insight to the story. Ironically enough, this really isn't the case. He makes an exception to that statement when he judges Gatsby, whom he says has an, "extraordinary gift for...
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