Impressions of Nick Carraway in Chapters 1 and 2 of "The Great Gatsby"

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In the beginning of the Great Gatsby, we are introduced to a number of characters through the main narrator, Nick Carraway. We are given hints and suggestions about how Nick can be portrayed as a narrator and as a main character. Throughout the first two chapters, we get an impression that Nick is an effective narrator and a key character in the novel. However, our opinions of him may differ as we get deeper into the story. Within the very first page of the novel, we can guess that Nick Carraway will be a descriptive narrator, as he says more than once, ‘I was rather literally in college’, showing that he will be an accurate and informative narrator. An example of Nick being very detailed in his descriptions is when he arrives at his first of many Gatsby’s parties, ‘On buffet tables…salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs…By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived’, showing that Nick is amazed with the amount of effort Gatsby has put into making his parties enjoyable. It also shows Gatsby is a very elaborate person, who values in keeping his “guests” (most of the people that came to his parties were not invited by him), happy. Perhaps the reason why there is so much detail given about how Gatsby makes his parties is that Nick is overly impressed by his materialistic possessions for example, his ‘marble swimming pool’ and his wealth. As a key character in the novel, we get the impression here that Nick can be a detailed and accurate narrator. Nick also uses a lot of complex sentences, and this allows him to elaborate on what events are taking place. In addition, the complex sentences will provide more information in his sentences, ‘He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, ... ... middle of paper ... ...e should be able to handle himself in a more responsible way as the novel unravels. Some would even say that at the end of the novel, Nick has had a moral journey as after Gatsby’s death, he is a sadder, but a wiser person. Overall, we get many impressions of Nick in the first two chapters of the novel; reliable, accurate, a spectator of situations, egotistic or immature. However, it is too soon to judge Nick’s narrating skills or personality as our judgements can change very easily- in chapter four when Nick doesn’t confront Gatsby about his obvious lie, ‘San Francisco…I see’, we ask ourselves why he did not confront Gatsby and we as readers question the reason why he didn’t confront Gatsby is because he admires him too much to care about the lies. This is just one example we can use that can change our impression of Nick as a narrator and as a main character.

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