As I’ve had crushes on females in the past, I always find myself back to a position where I despise someone. I lack the control and fortitude that many people say they have, but in reality may not. My want controlled me to a point where I didn’t present myself as who I really was. Maybe I tried to impress that person, but I realize, despite all my “hard work,” maybe I shouldn’t have. My purposeful determination consumed me, and if I didn’t win in the end, I was pessimistic. I have blamed people for that and have lost friends for that. However, I see that I am more self aware because of it. Like my journey of becoming more self aware, Nick Carraway experiences similar feelings when he fights against culture in New York. This culture he engages in engulfs him and changes his personality drastically. Even though Nick enjoys his friends’ parties, his lifestyle, and his nostalgia, the careless world he lives in expands the cynic within him when he needs support the most. We risk coming to hate our pleasures or our friends, so we need to stop our selfish ways and become aware of ourselves.
While Nick enjoys the parties and a sense of nostalgia, he becomes aware of his conflicting hatred and sets up control over his arousing temptations. Nick first meets his rancor at Tom Buchanan’s party in New York. Nick looks out at the black streets and sees himself “within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life”(35). Nick is in limbo; he cannot tilt his metronome. Limbo, like a broken metronome, worries us, and we may think that life is absent of any rhythm. A shower of emotions floods us: anxiety, curiosity, indecisiveness; however, we forget that all we have to do is fix our problem. The state of being within and without, or enchanted and repelled, creates a neutral but worrisome state of mind, perplexing us to delve in further. Nick loves the sinful yet melodic ecstasies of paradise, but cannot help his fear of the depths of hell, or becoming sinful, controlled by pleasure. His fear builds a defensive wall called bitterness in which he seals his scorn towards the pretentious lifestyle he loves. By identifying his conflicting emotions, Nick projects a greater knowledge of himself and steps away from the self-absorbed mouth of Tom Buchanan’s party. However, he still has to solve his problem. Because of Nick’s cynical growth, he cannot help but shy away from the optimism in Gatsby’s words:
“Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something-an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man's, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever” (111).
Nick finds a glimpse of the past. Nostalgia enchants us and spell-binds us. We hear the music and...