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Nick Carraway As An Unreliable Narrator In The Great Gatsby

807 words - 4 pages

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a story of lost love, mystery, and an exciting tale from the “Roaring Twenties”. While considered a notable piece of literature in American history, perhaps the plot is not all it seems. This is because the narrator, Nick Carraway, is an unreliable one, based on his continuity errors, general racism, biased judgement, contradictory nature, and assumptions of others, all which blind his ability to effectively convey the true story to the reader.

First off, Nick Carraway’s ability to keep continuity in line is revealed when he tells the reader things he could not have possibly seen, based on the account of how he was sitting, looking, or even ...view middle of the document...

A stereotypical description of Jews, it shows that Nick’s discrimination extends past race, and into religion as well. This is a point that should definitely considered when reviewing his narration. Nick also isn’t very nice when it comes to describing people, either. He describes Myrtle as a “thickish figure of a woman [which] blocked out the light from the office door… an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smoldering…” (Fitzgerald 25). His description of Myrtle is one of a man who is very brazen, and automatically makes judgements on others without the smallest bit of conversation with the former. In addition, his description of Tom is not much nice. Tom is said to have “…a supercilious manner...arrogant...leaning aggressively...capable of enormous leverage…a cruel body” (Fitzgerald 7). Again, Nick’s description essentially tells the reader Tom is a vicious brute, without even haven heard one line of dialogue from him. Finally, in Chapter 1, Daisy randomly interjects an anecdote, asking if Nick wants “to hear about the butler’s nose…” (Fitzgerald 13). Nick never questions the rudeness or pure randomness of this tangent, suggesting that his ignorance stretches far enough to let him tell us about completely trivial details.

Nick’s skewed...

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