Why Does Fitzgerald Give Us Nick Carraway?

...Start of the Why Does Fitzgerald Give Us Nick Carraway? ...

Nick Carraway is the narrator for The Great Gatsby for an array of reasons. Nick is the cousin of Daisy and the neighbour of Gatsby and, it could be said that, for these reasons alone, Nick is the perfect choice to narrate the novel due to his relationship with both of these characters. However, Nick also attempts to give the reader an unbiased opinion of the characters and the events as they unfold. Fitzgerald makes Carraway his own person and not just a character speaking the words and feelings of the author, the reader can feel that they are reading Carraway’s views and not Fitzgerald’s. Nick Carraway is the first character we meet, and appropriately his role in The Great Gatsby is crucial; without him the story would lack balance and insight.

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Gatsby isn’t comfortable enough with himself, most of the words he speaks are false or over exaggerated and therefore he isn’t a great contender for narrator. The Buchanans are probably the next obvious choice. Tom and Daisy both could have been chosen as the narrator of the novel, however, both of these characters are too prejudiced and class orientated, both are highly driven by money, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” Carraway shows to the reader that there relationship is held together by their love for money.

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In Jordan’s first conversation with Nick we see her snobbery, “‘You live in the West Egg,’ she remarked contemptuously”, Jordan is quite clearly looking down on Nick due to his choice to live in the ‘new money’ area of West Egg. Her dishonesty is also a factor in the choice of narrator; Nick, who was very fond of Jordan, said that, “She was incurably dishonest”, it would be hard to have a narrator that was a compulsive liar and quite clearly prejudice. I feel that upon looking at the other characters in The Great Gatsby it is easy to see that Nick is a good choice of narrator. To conclude, I believe that Nick Carraway is given to us as the narrator of The Great Gatsby as he provides the reader with a clear insight into the lives of those that revolve around him.

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