Why Nick Carraway Associates Himself With Untruthful People.

1189 words - 5 pages

People tend to gravitate toward others who exhibit characteristics similar to their own. Bank robbers are not often invited to Bat Mitzvahs or high school graduations of modern-day saints. If for no other reason, most people find comfort and stability knowing that their best friends uphold similar morals and values. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, however, Nick Carraway surrounds himself with people who portray characteristics opposite his own. Despite priding himself as being “one of the few honest people that [he has] ever known,” Nick only spends his time with people such as Jordan Baker and Jay Gatsby, whose honesty leaves much to be desired (64). The perplexing question presented to the reader is why Nick, a man of such integrity, would enjoy spending time with those who live their lives surrounded by dishonesty. Nick Carraway feels better about himself and his morals by living his day-to-day life with dishonest people. By attending parties and spending countless Saturday afternoons with people who have no regard for truth or fidelity, Nick Carraway is able to live vicariously through his friends. He can live a fast-paced, fun-filled party life without having to regard himself as a dishonest man.Jordan Baker plays an important role in Nick Carraway’s life. Although never formally mentioned, the reader may easily speculate that Nick and Jordan’s relationship is something much deeper than a casual friendship. Nick and Jordan spend quite a bit of time together, both in a group setting as well as alone. It is no wonder, then, that Jordan Baker was “incurably dishonest” according to Nick (63). Upon meeting Jordan, Nick vaguely remembers having previously heard her name. He finally recalls Jordan Baker’s name connected with a golf scandal; “she had moved her ball from a bad lie in the semi-final round”, Nick accounts (62).As a man who places himself in the highest of moral standards, Nick believes that he is not only a rare, honest man, but that he is also so righteous he has the power to define morality and ethics. “Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply—I was casually sorry, and then I forgot,” Nick says of Jordan’s dishonest character (63). Nick believes that Jordan should not be held accountable for her lying and cheating because she is a woman. Because of her gender, he believes she certainly should not be held to the same moral standards as someone of Nick’s honorable character. Again, by surrounding himself with dishonest individuals, Nick feels a certain sense of self-righteousness. Nick can do no wrong from a moral standpoint because he is consistently associating himself with people of lesser moral integrity.Jay Gatsby is another character that meets the lying and cheating profile that Nick looks for in a friend. Gatsby is untruthful about his past from the very beginning of the novel. Speculations about Gatsby’s background and past...

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