The Great Gatsby

Who is Nick Carraway?

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Nick Carraway

Nick Carraway was born in 1892 in Minnesota, Middle-West of the United States, as the son of a well situated family. His grand uncle had started the family’s hardware business in 1851. He went to elementary, middle and high school in the Middle-West. After that he was sent to Yale University by his family. Nick was sent to France, when the United States entered the Great War in 1917, in order to fulfil his military service. After this time, in 1922, he decided to move to New York to learn the bond business, because the war had changed his perspective of the world. The rural narrow mindedness was not his world anymore. In West egg, a district of Long Island, he rented a small house, and became a neighbour of Gatsby.

Nick is Daisy's cousin, which enables him to assist the love affair between Daisy and Gatsby. As a result of his relationship to these two characters, Nick is a perfect narrator for this novel even though he is not very reliable.

Nick is also well suited to narrate The Great Gatsby because of his temperament. As he tells the reader in Chapter I, he is tolerant, open-minded, quiet, and a good listener, and, as a result, others tend to talk to him and tell him their secrets. Gatsby, in particular, trusts and treats him as a confidant.

Moreover, Nick is not only the narrator of the novel, but he plays a character in the story. I would say, that he is the only person in the whole book who is seeing the world in reality, even though he tells us what he wants us to know. Nick is the only character who understands, that Daisy and Tom as well as Gatsby only have eyes for money and their personal American Dream and do not care about others. Nick just wants to show that the urban people, he never really belonged to, only have eyes for showing their wealth.

Nick is not the kind of urban people like Daisy, Tom or Jordan. Of course he is well situated but he does not have the need to show that to everybody. He is neither as rich as Gatsby or his Cousin nor poor but he polite enough not to show that to everybody. In my opinion Nick just wants to help the people to see the real world they are living in.