Nick Carraway Essay, Research Paper
Nick, one of the most sophisticated characters in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, makes a potent narrator due to the fact that his characteristics are a key to analyzing the other characters. As the novel proceeds Nick is the most reliable source for the reader to create his/her opinion about the other characters.The most significant reason why Nick appears as the narrator is because he supplies the reader with a contrast to the other characters in the book. Nick is a moralist, who wishes the world “to stand at moral attention forever.” This trait differs from the standards that the other people in the novel live by. While Nick tries to claw himself to the American dream the others have already given up hope in pursuit of wealth and other materialistic intentions. Nick is to represent the norm, while the other characters such as Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby each represent another type of desire. This can be noticed throughout the whole novel. Daisy, who wants a man with money, charm, wit, good looks, Tom who wants cars money women, horses, boats, and Gatsby who wants Daisy, but who is willing to sacrifice anything for her. Furthermore, because Nick is the narrator one can consider the descriptions of different characters as filtered. Nick has a different perception of each character and therefor it is important to stress the different views on the different characters. The descriptions by Nick of the others are based on how they present themselves to public, or in this case, Nick. Another factor that speaks for Nick being the narrator of this novel is the way Nick stands to each different relationship of the novel. Nick is mainly an outsider, who has no real connection to either of the other characters. This is what relates Nick to the reader. The reader immediately feels comfortable in Nick’s company. He, just like the reader, is still trying to define the characters and this is what makes him a perfect narrator. With each appearance Nick gathers more information about each individual, since he is the outsider and he has a view over everything. Also since Nick is an outsider it is possible for him to analyze each relationship from the outside. He can determine what is the key to each relationship from the outside because he has no other choice. Nick is new to Long Island and is confronted with some characters for the first time. Just like the reader. Having Nick be the narrator simplifies the process of getting “aquainted” with every new character. What’s more, Nick is the one that keeps the whole story together. As known Fitzgerald liked to spread the story over each character. Each character therefore is essential to the outcome of the novel. Nick was the one which bound all the other people together to form the novel. This is what separates Nick from the other characters. While the others find their situation as most important Nick tries to comprehend what is happening to the people in his surrounding. Fitzgerald chose him to convey the message. Nick can therefor be seen as the binding link in the story, who because of his binding force also has a responsibility to guide the reader through each situation. It is therefor necessary for the reader to rely on the narrator, who in this case is Nick. Also a reason for Nick being the narrator and not Gatsby is because the story is just as much about Nick as it is about Gatsby. Although the title is focused on Gatsby as the protagonist Nick was chosen by Fitzgerald to present the occurrences to the reader. One of the novel’s main themes is the development of Nick as a character. Therefore he represents a good narrator. The novel mainly stresses the development of the character, and Nick happens to pass through a lot of stages in this novel. Also does it seem that Nick is the narrator due to the fact that Fitzgerald saw himself in Nick. Nick represents the author’s thoughts and hence qualifies as novelist. Another good reason for Nick being the narrator might be that Nick could embody the stylistic devices used by Fitzgerald in this novel. Fitzgerald felt that Nick’s personality and character could introduce the mood and tone of the novel. Nick’s tone and mood are very comparable to the track of the novel. Nick reveals a lot of criticism, which is also a main theme of the novel. Fitzgerald uses Nick as a microphone, and lets Nick criticize what Fitzgerald meant to. Consequently, it can be assumed that Fitzgerald felt most comfortable with Nick presenting the novel, since letting him criticize what Fitzgerald felt about the American society and it’s appetites, also relates greatly to the outcome of the plot.