The Narrator’s role in F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby is taken on by Nick Carraway. In this role Nick reveals the character of the rich and mysterious Jay Gatsby. Nick talks of the events in a first person perspective from a point two years into the future. From this we know that Nick is displaying the story in an objective manner since the emotion of the summer has calmed down The Great Gatsby is a summary of the roaring twenties and an exposi?? of the lifestyle of the rich in the jazz age.
It tells the story of Nick Carraway, a young bondsman looking to make his fortune, his cousin Daisy Buchanan, her husband Tom Buchanan, a polo player and Daisy’s lover before her marriage the mysterious Jay Gatsby Just before Nick’s meets Gatsby he sees him from afar looking over his party. Gatsby standing alone on the marble steps and looking from one group to another with approving eyes. This reveals firstly that, although Gatsby throws big parties, he is somewhat of a loner. Gatsby looks over his guests approvingly while unknown to him they are concocting wild and fanciful rumours about his past.
Gatsby is deluding himself that he is being accepted while he is actually seen as an elegant young roughneck, who only Nick sees the inner qualities of. Through Nick’s narration we learn that Gatsby is, in public, very extravagant but in private he can be an incredibly shy person. He doesn’t ask Daisy out after years of anticipation. He asks someone to ask someone to ask her out, using Jordan and Nick as proxies to shield him from rejection. He doesn’t know what her reaction will be because he hasn’t seen her for years. Gatsby considers his meeting with Daisy very important.
We know this by pale as death, his hands were plunged like weights in his coat’s pockets and he was glaring tragically at Nick. After he finally talked with Daisy he literally glowed. His dream had come true yet his expectations were so high after years of anticipation that there was no way Daisy could live up to what he was counting on, since he had built her up like a Goddess with no flaws. This is shown by Nick’s comment that 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.
Gatsby gets rid of most of his servants because he believes that they will gossip to the press about, what he believes to be, his affair with Daisy. Nick visit him and we learn more about Gatsby’s past. We learn that Jay was originally James Gatz, and he invented Jay Gatsby to impress a rich sailor and eventually made his money to impress Daisy. Gatsby’s whole life is devoted to the acceptance of his peers and the love of his life, Daisy. When Daisy and Nick visit Gatsby’s bedroom they find that Gatsby is not comfortable with his life.
The whole of his house contrasts with his plain bedroom, which shows his heritage from the parents he disowned. When the five of them go to the Plaza Hotel for a drink Gatsby confronts Daisy about whether she has ever loved her husband, Tom or if she, has always loved Gatsby. Gatsby thinks as Daisy as a possession and tries to wrest her from Tom. “Of course … do you see” shows that Gatsby believes that Daisy never loved Tom and has just been waiting for him, when she had actually forgotten about Gatsby and had loved Tom instead.
Daisy is torn between her old love, who has returned to her like some sort of fairy tale, and her husband, to whom she must stay committed to or her reputation will be ruined. Clutching at some last hope. Gatsby does not understand this and thinks that everyone thinks the same as him, that he found Daisy first so she was his. Gatsby is so devoted to Daisy that he takes the blame for her hit and run accident with Tom’s mistress. Because of the position of the Narrator we do not learn of how Tom feels about this but only the moments that Nick spends at the Buchanan’s home.
Gatsby shows his infatuation with Daisy when Nick meets him outside of their house, where he is watching to make sure nothing happens “I don’t trust him, old sport. “. The last time Nick meets Gatsby before he is murdered Gatsby tells of his love for Daisy and how he lost her. Of course he is still under the delusion that she is going to leave Tom for him. Although Nick doesn’t know this is the last time he will see Gatsby, he confesses his true feelings for him in one of the last things he says to him.
They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together. ” This is the first time he has complimented Gatsby because he had always disapproved of Gatsby’s beaviour. When we read a novel, we are taken away into a fictional world. A world that no matter how fantastic or realistic, creates a new set of boundaries. This new set of boundaries make credible or possible events and reactions that might not take place in the real world, but which are logical and possible in the fictional world.
In order for this to be convincing, we need to trust the narrator, for the narrator becomes our eyes and ears in this world and tells us how and what to think. Our reading of the novel depends on the way the narrator portrays to us certain characters for example, Tom Buchanan; we, as readers were repelled from Tom throughout the novel by the narrator’s use of critical adjectives and adverbs and negative narrative comment. Everything Tom said and did was recounted by Nick in a negative way, He was walking in his alert, aggressive way, his hands out a little from his body as if to fight off interference.
Because our trusted narrator Nick dislikes Tom and his lack of morals, we are positioned to disagree with Tom. This opposes us to nearly all his views and actions and makes them a critique of the idle rich and it’s values. Although the text colluded with the sexism of the times, for Nick too was a little sexist, when Tom announced that it was shameful of his wife to have an affair while he had been doing it all the time, the sexism was also critiqued, for Nick wanted to laugh at him for his blatant contradiction.
Had Nick liked Tom it would have been a different story. In order to tell a convincing story, the narrator needs our trust. Nick Carraway was a trustworthy narrator, although not completely. He gained our trust in the beginning with a recount of his moral upbringing and his initial inclination to reserve all judgements, but he also said “tolerance…. has it’s limits”.
This story was told through a dual narration, it was an older, wiser and less nai?? e Nick telling us what happened a year earlier. At the beginning Nick visited Tom, a man that at the time he didn’t really know, but by the end he detested. This led to the older Nick immediately passing his judgement and Tom being described as a negative character, right from the beginning of the story. We do however, stick to Nick’s judgement, for he seems to us and also to those around him a harmless and trusting man. It is this trust that Nick uses to uphold his credibility.