Impressions Of Nick Carraway In Chapters 1 And 2 Of "The Great Gatsby"

869 words - 3 pages

In the beginning of the Great Gatsby, we are introduced to a number of characters through the main narrator, Nick Carraway. We are given hints and suggestions about how Nick can be portrayed as a narrator and as a main character. Throughout the first two chapters, we get an impression that Nick is an effective narrator and a key character in the novel. However, our opinions of him may differ as we get deeper into the story.

Within the very first page of the novel, we can guess that Nick Carraway will be a descriptive narrator, as he says more than once, ‘I was rather literally in college’, showing that he will be an accurate and informative narrator. An example of Nick being very detailed in his descriptions is when he arrives at his first of many Gatsby’s parties, ‘On buffet tables…salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs…By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived’, showing that Nick is amazed with the amount of effort Gatsby has put into making his parties enjoyable. It also shows Gatsby is a very elaborate person, who values in keeping his “guests” (most of the people that came to his parties were not invited by him), happy. Perhaps the reason why there is so much detail given about how Gatsby makes his parties is that Nick is overly impressed by his materialistic possessions for example, his ‘marble swimming pool’ and his wealth.

As a key character in the novel, we get the impression here that Nick can be a detailed and accurate narrator. Nick also uses a lot of complex sentences, and this allows him to elaborate on what events are taking place. In addition, the complex sentences will provide more information in his sentences, ‘He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that…’ This gives the impression that he will include a lot of detail in his retelling of the story. His philosophy, ‘I’m inclined to reserve all judgements…’ suggests he won’t take any characters sides, and that he will think twice before ‘criticizing anyone’. Although at the beginning we seem to put our trust in Nick that he will be a detailed narrator, we can begin to question his reliability near the end of chapter 1 when Nick says, ‘I was in and without’, highlighting inconsistent narrating skills (he won’t be fully involved in all the events that go on), and therefore, we can assume that sometimes he will step back in the novel and let the...

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