Nick Carraway as an Unreliable Narrator

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In the following essay, Cartwright discusses ways in which Nick Carraway is sometimes a confused or misleading narrator.] While I have met individuals whom I might describe as more Gatsby than Carraway, I have seldom met a critic I would so describe. As critics, we seem to cherish our disillusionment. Indeed, serious interest in The Great Gatsby, according to Richard Foster, was launched by a generation of neoclassical and formalist critics who tended to believe in the final, tough truth of existence imaged in the thinning possibility and thinning joy of Nick’s lugubrious moral retreat.

...Middle of the Nick Carraway as an Unreliable Narrator ...

There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams–not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. … No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.As I watched him he adjusted himself a little, visibly. His hand took hold of hers, and as she said something low in his ear he turned toward her with a rush of emotion. I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed–that voice was a deathless song. [97] Again, Nick seems to be speaking from two perspectives: the one of a man describing what he sees, the other of a man pleading, instead, his own view of life.

...End of the Nick Carraway as an Unreliable Narrator ...

in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Linda Pavlovski. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. .

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