Slaughterhouse Five – Humankind Essay, Research Paper
In the novel, The Great Gatsby, written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the character Nick Carraway has a view of reality like many people in today’s society. Nick is the type of person who is both unrealistic and realistic at the same time. The realistic part of Nick shows the reader the character flaws of Jordan, Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom while his unrealistic nature shows how he opinionated himself to be better and more honest then the rest. Nick Carraway’s reality is that he thinks he is better then the other character’s in the novel because he reserves judgement and is honest, but it is apparent throughout the novel, he is one in the same. Therefore F. Scott Fitzgerald shows the reader that Nick’s reality is consequently representing the universal experience of man.
Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary defines reality as 1. The fact, state, or quality of being real or genuine. 2. That which is real; an actual thing, situation, or event. One cannot know what someone else’s reality is until you know that person very well or you read about their life story somewhere. Reality in The Great Gatsby was to fulfill “The American Dream” by one thinking they are better then the others; with the concept of having fame, wealth, and being good looking. Reality is that you cannot be happy without being happy with yourself. In the novel the character’s were not happy with themselves. Eg. Gatsby who was a mysterious man, did everything to impress one women which was Daisy, with his nice house, expensive clothes, and big parties. Gatsby wasn’t happy with himself, everything was an act to show off to Daisy that he had money. People universally are just content with themselves because they are afraid to accept the truth. Nick realized that he had a problem with humankind through realizing what humans are really like, especially through Gatsby.
Nick’s reality in the novel The Great Gatsby is that he thinks he is not like the other character’s because he is educated, not involved with a married women like Gatsby, he earned his money the honest way and not by bootlegging, but in reality, the truth is that he really is like the other character’s. Nick is swept into love affairs, corruption and even murder because everyone confides and places trust in him. Nick says that he is one of the few honest people he knows and that his character appears very pure amidst all the corrupt people in the novel. ” ‘The rumour is that that’s Tom’s girl on the telephone’… ‘No, he’s not, I assured her. It’s a bona-fide deal. I happen to know about it’ “(pg.111). Nick sees bad, acknowledges it, but he doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t tell Daisy the truth that Tom is cheating on her, so therefore he is like the other character’s, he is corrupt. Nick cannot face the truth that he too is shallow. Nick doesn’t care what he sees as long as its not involving him. He was taught not to critize others but the duality in the novel is that he does it anyway. Nick also sees what he wants to see, but he still sees the flaws in the other character’s and tries to make it so it’s ok. He looks at the other character’s faults to make himself look good. Nick says it is easier to look at life from one point of view, but its easier to live in an illusion than to face reality. “This isn’t just an epigram – life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.” (pg10). Nick’s illusion is that he is good compared to the other character’s in the novel.
Through reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the character Nick shows the reader that we as humans tend to see what we want to see and ignore any problems there may be. This allows humans to focus on the good and ignore the problems surrounding them even if they are apparent. Eg. If a female loves a male who is abusive towards her, she will tend to cover up the truth and make excuses and believe ‘he will not do it again’. Like the character Nick Carraway, people tend to distort reality to suit them, whereas the problem or issue is obvious. By reading the novel we see what Nick went through by noticing different character conflicts throughout the novel, like Tom cheating on Daisy, Myrtle’s death, Gatsby and Daisy’s love affair, and Jordan being a cheat.
Nick was portrayed as a nice person that listened to everyone’s problems. Everyone in the novel was materialistic, except Nick. He thinks he is an honest person among the other character’s in the novel. Nick shies away from everything, he is very observant. He thinks he is not like the rest, but he really is. Nick thought West and East Eggs were no different, both corrupt. Nick is like Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes, he sees things, but doesn’t do anything. He never tells Daisy that Tom is cheating on her. Nick acknowledges everything, but he can’t apply it to himself. Nick looks at everyone else and judges them to feel good, like Daisy who looks at money to feel better and Tom who looks at domination to get his way. By reading the novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald allows the reader to understand that we too are similar to the character of Nick Carraway who is corrupt and misunderstanding in life.