The Great Gatsby Essay
Discuss Nick Carraway’s character. How reliable is he as a narrator? What aspects of his character make him an effective narrator?
Nick Carraway is not only a character in the novel The Great Gatsby, he is also the narrator. This is very important because it makes him a central figure, like Gatsby. He is so involved in the plot that he becomes quite important and significant in the story. The whole novel is told by Nick and in a way he discovers his own development throughout the events of the book. As Nick says of himself, he is “both within and without.” This is related to the fact that he is both a character and a narrator in the story. It gives a great success as to how Gatsby’s story is told.
Nick is a young man from Minnesota who moves to New York in the spring of 1922 to learn about the “bond business.” The bond business refers to Nick’s choice of career as an investment broker. He rents a house in West Egg, which is in Long Island; a wealthy area inhabited by the rich people. Nick lives next door to a man named Jay Gatsby, which throws magnificent parties every Saturday night. Nick is different to the other residents of West Egg. He went to Yale and has social connections in East Egg (His cousin Daisy and Tom Buchanan), another area of Long Island home to the well-known upper class.
The first paragraphs show Nick’s qualities. His father always told him to not criticize anyone because “the people in the world haven’t had the advantages that [he] had.” Therefore, Nick has a tendency to reserve all judgments. This quality allows him to become involved with Gatsby, Tom, Daisy and Jordan. During the first part of the novel, however, Nick acts just as an observer and doesn’t get involved. Nevertheless, we notice that he cannot maintain that position and ends up getting involved especially with Gatsby. As seen in the end, he alone is left to organize his funeral.
When Nick moves east, he realizes that it’s full of false values, wealth and sophistication of the people. His own moral sense is held back....