Essay On Why Is Nick An Unreliable Narrator In The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is about Nick Caraway, a man who moved into New York in West Egg. He soon finds out that his house borders a mansion of a wealthy man, named Jay Gatsby, who is in love with Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchannan. Nick describes his past experiences with Gatsby. He is an unreliable first person narrator, for he is extremely subjective being biased towards Gatsby and he is deceptive, with his lying and past actions. His evaluation of Gatsby is not entirely just, due to his close friendship with Gatsby. Nick attempts to deceive the reader at the beginning of the novel by describing himself as a man who is inclined to reserve all judgments (3). But Nick actually evaluates everyone based off his own bias judgments. He describes Jordan Baker as an incurably dishonest (57) and careless person (58). Tom and Daisy are careless people who “smash-up things and creatures and then retreat back into their money or vast carelessness” (179), according to Nick’s description. He describes Mr. McKee as feminine (30). Nick also describes George Wilson as a spiritless man (25). He is effectively not reserving his judgments. This deception and lying from Nick is another reason why he is an unreliable narrator, which goes against how Nick generally describes himself as an honest man who reserves all judgments, showing his non-objective stance. Nick literally lies at the beginning of the story by telling the reader that his “family have been prominent, well-to-do people in the middle-western town for three generations.” (3) Despite this claim, his father can only afford to support him for one year. (3) And when the Buchanans ask Nick about his engagement rumor, he contradicts himself by saying he is too poor to marry. (1... ... middle of paper ... ...by is a successful pharmacist. After Gatsby’s death, he was the only true friend to show up and the only one to make Gatsby’s funeral grand. The friendship and one-sided nature of Nick shows the obvious bias on the topic of Gatsby. This portrayal of Gatsby is unjust as Nick, when describing Gatsby, overlooks all of Gatsby’s illegal trade and shady work. Therefore the reader will get an unjust one-sided view of Gatsby. Ultimately, although readers portray Nick as an honest and unbiased narrator, through the above evidence combined with the fact that the 2 years have passed for Nick, his narration point is inherently bias. Since he has such a close friendship with Gatsby, Nick manages to overlook Gatsby’s illegal activities, and portray him unjustly as a virtuous man. The portrayal is unjust because Nick doesn’t account for his flaws, and he highlights his positives.
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