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Nick Carraway - Biased Narrator of the Great Gatsby

  • Date Submitted: 12/16/2010 12:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56 
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Nick Carraway – Biased Narrator of The Great Gatsby

Is Nick a reliable narrator? Consider discussing his observations of any two or three Gatsby, Daisy, Tom and/or Jordan

Nick Carraway is The Great Gatsby’s narrator. We meet him on page one where he introduces himself as being born in a well situated family in the Middle-West. After having fulfilled his military service, he decides to move to New York to learn the bond business. He rents a small house on West Egg, a district of Long Island, and with this, becomes the neighbour of the book’s eponymous character Jay Gatsby. Nick is also the cousin of one of the other major character of the book: Daisy Buchanan, which enables him to assist the love affair between Gatsby and Daisy.
Nick describes himself as likable and a person to whom people easy trust their secrets.
“In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.”- (Fitzgerald, p1)
Since he seems open to anyone, people are more willing to talk to him and with this, tell him more about themselves. This makes him a perfect narrator for the story as this is one of the reasons why Gatsby trusts him, allowing him to assist and give us as the readers access to the love affair between Daisy and Gatsby, and why Tom trusts him enough to take him with him to go out into town with Myrtle, giving Nick, and therefore us as the readers, insight on his affair with Myrtle. All of this is information that is essential for the story’s plot and information that wouldn’t have been obtained by Nick if he would’ve had a different attitude.
Yet it is still questionable if Nick is a reliable narrator.

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