The Great Gatsby

Gatsby's effect on nick

How is nick affected by gatsby's life and death?

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Chapter 5 show us the heart of their relationship. Initially Nick is drawn to the enigma of Gatsby and Gatsby is drawn to plainness of Nick but their is uncertainty at the heart of their relationship. Is Gatsby's friendship with Nick merely expedient? Is he merely using him to draw closer to Daisy ­ or is he genuinely fond of Nick?

The question cannot be easily answered: while it becomes clear that Gatsby has great affection for Nick, it is also true that he uses money and power as leverage in all of his personal relationships. Gatsby, in his extreme insecurity about class, cannot believe that anyone would befriend him if he did not possess a mansion and make several million dollars per year. Fitzgerald seems to bitterly affirm this insecurity, given the fact that Gatsby was abandoned by Daisy because of his poverty, and remains ostracized by the East Eggers even after his success. In the world of the novel, only Nick does not make friendships based upon class.


Nick has never met anyone quite like Gatsby and finds him much like an onion with many layers to peel away. He is the only one who seems to understand Gatsby and his obsession with Daisy and his inability to see that which is right in front of him. His obsession has driven him to accomplish much of what he has; although Gatsy tries to draw him in to some of his "businesses," Nick is too moral and sensible for such a thing. Ultimately, Nick is the only one who really cares about Gatsby in death; he learns about Gatsby and wants not to live the way he lives.