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The Great Gatsby Characters Essay

1008 words - 4 pages

The Great Gatsby- Character Studies By Aaron Francis What are the main Characters in The Great Gatsby? The two characters are Nick Caraway and Tom Buchanan. Nick tries to please everyone and is very moral, whereas Tom pleases himself, and is immoral.At the start of the book, Nick is a typical American country boy. He believes that he always must be polite and considerate, as Nick says in p 7: he believes "a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth [to everyone]". He has a very high moral integrity, and believes that everyone else holds his values. Nick's attitude makes him naïve and vulnerable to those that would deceive him, or oppress him. Nick moves to West Egg with what he thinks is every Americans dream, presumably to make one's fortune, and start a family in the "˜big city', but Nick's dream is beaten down by Daisy, who gives Nick the wisdom of her experience as a country girl in the city, and Jordan, who shows Nick the city life. Nick realises how oppressive Tom is subconsciously, but seems to see his old "˜friend' through rose-tinted glasses, saying on pp 12-13 " "Now don't think my opinion"¦ is final" [Tom] seemed to say "Just because I'm stronger and more of a man than you"." The quote shows Nick's understanding of Tom's arrogance, but Nick also says (p 13): "[Tom] wanted me to like him". Only someone who had respect for the subject would think like that, because we make friends with people, who we think want to be our friends.Nick never considered that infidelity existed, on page 20, Nick is very shocked when Jordan tells him that Tom has "got some woman in New York", but later realises that, for Tom, it's actually less surprising than if "he had been depressed by a book", another example of Nick's mixed feelings on Tom. Nick tries to have a strong character, although he can't stand up to Tom's ego, he doesn't let people bully him out of his morals, for example on page 24 when Daisy and Tom try to get him hitched, he says: "I had no intention of being rumoured into marriage". As the book goes on, Nick begins to expect less of people, realising their moral failings exist, loosing some naivety, in the apartment block's garage, Nick asks Tom if his mistress' husband minds her going out with Tom, and when Tom says that the husband doesn't know, Nick accepts it, without questioning Tom. Daisy seems to foreshadow Nick's progress in the east; she came to the city with a dream, but was corrupted by the heart- and moral-less people. Gatsby protected Daisy, like he does Nick, but after Daisy left Gatsby, she fell victim to Tom, who doesn't seem to love her. This seems to be the fate set out for Nick. Tom is a "˜hulking' person, as Daisy describes him. Tom is well muscled, as...

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