Nick Carraway Essay, Research Paper
Nick Carraway In many novels there are controversial characters, or charactersthat cause controversy or problems. As in Fitzgerald s The Great Gatsby,there are several characters that fit this description. Both Myrtle Wilson andJay Gatsby cause conflict between Daisy and Tom Buchanan. Because ofthese two characters, one of the biggest conflicts in the book arises. However, not all characters fit this description. There are characters that area major part of the storyline, but they are not the cause of all the conflicts. Nick Carraway is one such character. He is a reserved man who is a bystanderin all the situations of the novel, and he is a friend in whom Gatsby canconfide. Nick is also the most loyal of all the people whom Gatsby surroundshimself. Throughout the novel, Nick is there in every scene and in everysituation. Much like the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, which look upon andsee everything, Nick observes all the problems quietly. Nick is the firstcharacter introduced in the novel because he is the narrator. He goes to Tomand Daisy s house where he meets Jordan Baker, a woman with whom he willhopelessly love throughout the book. When Tom and Nick go to New Yorkwith Myrtle Wilson, Tom s mistress, Nick just listens to all the two say andwatches everything they do. Later in the novel when a rendezvous betweenGatsby and Daisy is arranged, Nick remains there at all times with them. Heremarks that it seems that having him there with them made the couple feelmore comfortable then being alone together. Both of these scenes illustrateone of the traits that is most desirable in Nick. He does not go and gossip tothe spouses of each of the adulters or adulteresses; he simply observes therelationships. As a controversial character might cause a problem by tellingthe spouses, it is shown that Nick is not such a character. Another of Nick s qualities is his being a friend in whom Gatsbycan confide. Nick first encounters Gatsby as his gaudy neighbor who throwslavish soirees every weekend. One day one of Gatsby s butlers comes to Nick shouse to invite formally invite him to the party. While Nick is there, meetsmovie producers and people with new money. When Nick finally does meet
Gatsby, he doesn t even realize that he is speaking to Gatsby. Throughout thecourse of the novel Nick befriends Gatsby and is there for Gatsby when heneeds to talk. Nick arranges the date between Gatsby and Daisy, and herespects the confidentiality of the situation. When Nick learns some ofGatsby s business affairs, such as his dealings with Wolfsheim, he also keepsthis information confidential. Nick is one of the few people whom Gatsbycan call a true friend, a person in whom Gatsby can confide. The best quality of Nick Carraway is his loyalty to Gatsby. Evenif Nick doesn t agree with Gatsby s dealing or his lifestyle, Nick is still alwaysthere for him. At the end of the novel when Gatsby is killed, Nick is there athis mansion making all the arrangements and trying to get all the people whohad claimed to be Gatsby s friends to come to the funeral. When Nick callsupon Wolfsheim, Wolfsheim says he wishes he could go, but he doesn t like toinvolve himself in death. Klipspringer calls to Gatsby s house the day beforethe funeral, and Nick thinks that he has called to get the information aboutthe funeral, but Klipspringer just calls about a pair of tennis shoes that heneeds to be sent to him in Greenwich. Nick finds that all the people whotook advantage of Gatsby s generosity are not really Gatsby s friends at all. They are all there for the partying and the good times, but when it is time fora solemn moment, Gatsby s death, hardly anyone comes around. On the daythat Gatsby is buried, Nick asks the priest to stall for thirty more minutes tosee if anyone will show up, but nobody does. Only the owl-eyed man whomNick had met in Gatsby s library so long before was there to mourn Gatsby sdeath, along with Nick, Mr. Gatz, and the servants. The brutal reality is thateven though one may think that he has many friends, maybe those friends are only interested in what they can acquire from him. Nick illustrates hisloyalty as Gatsby s best friend well. In conclusion, Nick Carraway is character who is quite theopposite from all the other characters in the novel. He is a good friend toGatsby and proves this by his being there even when Gatsby is killed. Nickcan be defined as a soul mate for Gatsby, a person who challenges him andbrings out qualities otherwise left undiscovered.