How And Why Does F. Scott Fitzgerald Use Nick Carraway As His Narrator Of "The Great Gatsby"?

1954 words - 8 pages

“The Great Gatsby” is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest success. It was published in 1926, yet it is still a very relevant novel today. The story is not a complicated one; it is that of a group of young people in New York, and how their lives intertwine. However, the novel is much more complex than that. There are many factors contributing to making this story an interesting one; the themes, the symbols, the beauty of Fitzgerald’s language and also, using Nick Carraway as an engaged narrator.Nick Carraway is a young man, who moves to New York in the spring of 1922 “to learn the bond business”. He rents a “clapboard house in between millionaire mansions” in West Egg, right next door to Jay Gatsby. One day, Nick receives an invitation to a party at Gatsby’s house; he decides to go and there meets his mysterious neighbour. Over time Nick realizes Gatsby is in love with Daisy, Nick’s cousin. Nick brings the two lovebirds together, upon which they start an affair. Their lives and the lives of several other characters henceforth come together to form the wonderful story of “The Great Gatsby”.Nick Carraway is the narrator who also has a role in the plot, therefore he not only helps push the story along, but he can describe in detail about the encounters he has had. At the very start of the novel, when he meets Tom and Daisy Buchanan he introduces them to the reader from his own past experiences. He describes Tom as a man who has reached “an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savours of anti-climax”, which helps us really identify the kind of man Tom is. Later he re-introduces Gatsby and Daisy to one-another, allowing the plot to truly commence. He lets them meet at his house and expresses his feelings on the situation. He describes Gatsby as “tragically glaring into my [Nick’s] eyes”, which helps us clearly see Gatsby’s desperation.A key factor in Nick holding the position he does is that he is trustworthy. From the very start he says he is “inclined to reserve all judgements”, due to the way he was raised. He continues telling us about his background, eventually confessing that his “grandfather’s brother, who came here [Midwest] in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War”, which proves that he is in fact, honest about everything, including self-incriminating evidence. When he says that Gatsby has a "rare smile with a quality of eternal reassurance in it", we know that not Gatsby’s riches or elaborate parties have charmed Nick, but the person he truly is. Because of this, we realize that Nick Carraway is a very honest and reliable narrator, who will tell the story the way it is.Another reason we trust Nick to be reliable, is that he acts as a “filter” and de-romanticizes Gatsby’s dream. Gatsby speaks of true love when talking about Daisy, he mentions how they were destined to be together...

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