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In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway As The Foil, Protagonist, And Narrator

629 words - 3 pages

In The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway functions as both the foil and protagonist, as well as the narrator. A young man from Minnesota, Nick travels to the West Egg in New York to learn about the bond business. He lives in the district of Long Island, next door to Jay Gatsby, a wealthy young man known for throwing lavish parties every night. Nick is gradually pulled into the lives of the rich socialites of the East and West Egg. Because of his relationships with Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom, and others, along with his nonjudgmental demeanor, Nick is able to undertake the many roles of the foil, protagonist, and the narrator of The Great Gatsby.
Even as Nick struggles with his morality, he is able to function as the foil for many of the characters in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby is dreamy and passionate, while Nick is realistic and practical. Nick is morally sound and ethical, while the rest of the occupants of the East and West Egg are reprobate and corrupt. Nick says, “Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes” (Fitzgerald 1), and by this he means that behavior may be based on good and steadfast morals, or on loose and erroneous ones. Although Nick becomes pulled into the glamour of the East Egg, he remains the character with an active conscience. He disapproves of Tom Buchannan’s affair and is disgusted with Jordan Baker’s lies and lack of consideration for other people. He alone shows disgust for the phony nature of the socialites and he alone has what they lack-personal integrity and a sense of right and wrong. However, Nick finds the fast-paced and fun-driven lifestyle of New York to be exciting. Nick’s conflict is repeatedly shown throughout The Great Gatsby and even though Nick...

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