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Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald

In contrast to other characters in The Great Gatsby, Nick goes through a number of changes from the beginning to the end of the novel. The entire novel depicts flashbacks made by Nick in revealing a detailed account of the mysteries surrounding Gatsby. Nick is the character who puts together the pieces of the present and future life of Gatsby. Any reader of the book would be initially misdirected in assuming that Gatsby became rich by indulging in illegal alcohol trading and making counterfeit bonds. It is Nick who is able to convince the reader that Gatsby is “worth the whole damn bunch (rich class) put together'(F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1995, p.162). Nick understands that although Gatsby aims at belonging to the upper layer of society he is a class apart.

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He analyzed the personality of Gatsby in the novel and concluded about him that ‘he had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him'(F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1995, p.189). Nick’s opinion about Gatsby changes in due course and he recognizes after his death that the man is too great in having an empty funeral. In this context he promises to the deceased Gatsby, ‘Just trust me and I’ll get somebody for you’ (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1995, p.172).

In a way the title of the novel is quite ironic since there does not appear to be anything great about Gatsby who is actually portrayed as a criminal with the real name of James Gatz. The life that Gatsby creates for himself is quite illusionary and in the same sense, the title signifies the dramatic skills with which he makes the given illusions to appear as real. In essence the name The Great Gatsby is suggestive of a kind of stage entertainment which is entrusted to a skilled magician or escape artist. Nick ultimately is much impressed with Gatsby and looks at him as being a great personality. He sees in him the remarkable qualities of hope and recognizes the optimistic dream that he has in loving Daisy in an ideal and flawless world.

Although Nick does not appreciate Gatsby when he meets him for the first time but gradually begins to admire him for his radiating and smiling face, his passionate admiration for Daisy and his passion for the future. To Nick, the Gatsby who opens out towards the green lights on Daisy’s dock is more appealing than the Gatsby who appears as a vulgar socialite wearing pink suits in his party. Nick is the only character in the novel who is able to realize that Gatsby’s loving passion for Daisy is not because she deserves so but because he truly loves her. Daisy becomes Gatsby’s dream because he craves for passion from her and not because of her inner qualities.

Nick is much impressed with Gatsby’s power to enable his dreams to materialize. Since childhood Gatsby had dreamed of luxuries and riches, which he achieves although through illegal means. In being a man, Gatsby dreams of his love for Daisy and is able to win her for some time. In a world that is without morals the pursuit of one’s dreams is akin to rowing his or her boat against the flow of water. In Nick’s viewpoint the strength in Gatsby’s character lay in his power to dream, which lifted him higher than the empty and immoral pleasure seeking society of New York. In Nick’s view, Gatsby was great because he had the capacity to dream in spite of his blemishes and ultimate downfall.

Works Cited

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1995, Reprint edition, Scribner.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 7). Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/nick-carraway-in-the-great-gatsby-by-scott-fitzgerald/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 7). Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald. https://studycorgi.com/nick-carraway-in-the-great-gatsby-by-scott-fitzgerald/

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"Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald." StudyCorgi, 7 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/nick-carraway-in-the-great-gatsby-by-scott-fitzgerald/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald." November 7, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/nick-carraway-in-the-great-gatsby-by-scott-fitzgerald/.


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StudyCorgi. "Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald." November 7, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/nick-carraway-in-the-great-gatsby-by-scott-fitzgerald/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald." November 7, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/nick-carraway-in-the-great-gatsby-by-scott-fitzgerald/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald'. 7 November.

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