Nick Carraway as Honest Liar in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby "Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known" (Fitzgerald Gatsby 64). So writes Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, characterizing himself in opposition to the great masses of humanity as a perfectly honest man. The honesty that Nick attributes to himself must be a nearly perfect one, by dint of both its rarity and its "cardinal" nature; Nick asserts for himself that he is among the most honest people he has ever encountered. Events in the book, however, do not bear this self-characterization out; far from being among the most honest people in world, Nick Carraway is in fact a proficient liar, though he never loses his blind faith in his own pure honesty. First, Fitzgerald's choice of the word "suspects" indicates, and almost guarantees, a certain uncertainty about that suspicion; the fact that these are fallible (and often self-deceiving) human beings making observations about themselves make that uncertainty even greater. The fact that "everyone" believes to be one of the "few" holders of a cardinal virtue solidifies the matter; simply put, excepting either an unrealistically optimistic view of human nature or an extremely broad definition of "the cardinal virtues", it is simply impossible to accept that all human beings everywhere exemplify one of the cardinal virtues of humanity. Some people must not have the cardinal virtue they suspect of themselves. Nick, however, seems to forget this fact at the colon and starkly asserts, "I am one of the few honest people I have ever known" (64). The choice of "am" is very important here;... ... middle of paper ... ...themselves. Even when confronted with a disproof of his perfectly honest nature, as Jordan does late in the novel, Nick responds with an appeal to his belief in his own honesty-his myth about himself is that sacred. Much like Gatsby's self-image, Nick's belief in his own honesty seems to spring from the Platonic conception of honesty, and, much like Gatsby, he simply ignores or rationalizes away anything that comes into conflict with his belief. Nick Carraway is far from one of the few honest narrators I have ever read, but he is a testament to the powers of self-deception that exist in both fictional and non-fictional human beings. "Everyone suspects himself of one of the cardinal virtues," Nick says, and as Nick himself demonstrates, nearly everyone is wrong. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Scribner Paperback Fiction: New York, 1991.
The society that we live in today is built around lies. Banks lying to customers in order to feed the capitalist mindset, politicians lying to citizens in order to gain power, and charities taking donations with open arms however are stingy when giving back to the cause. The common reason why these organizations lie is to hide what they truly are. People also deceive others in order to hide who they truly are. From a young age lying becomes engraved into one’s mind, we are taught to walk, talk, and lie. As explained in “The Ways We Lie” by Stephanie Ericsson, we lie because it benefits us for personal gain. Everyone lies for different reasons, whether to protect yourself or others. The world of “The Great Gatsby” is driven by lies from people who wish to keep their true selves unknown.
“Every one suspects himself of one of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people I have ever known.“ This quote by Nick from The Great Gatsby ties well with The Great Gatsby’s theme: People may use dishonesty to get what they want, but in the end it may only serve to destroy them and the things and people they love. Outlined below are some examples where this theme can be found in the book.
Nick Carraway is the only character worth knowing in The Great Gatsby. He is living in East Egg with the rich and powerful people. He is on the guest lists to all of their parties and yet he is the person most worthy of attending such parties because he is well bread and his family is certainly not poor. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” (Ch1, P1). These words were taught to Nick by his father showing the qualities that a man with goals and values would have in a place where goals and values was no existent. His Judgmental eye for character and guts of using them when desired makes him more interesting. He has a greatest fear that he will be all alone by himself.
At first, the only function of Nick in the novel seems to be to act as a reporter, telling us the truth by telling us his shrewd, objective perceptions. Then, as the novel progresses, it turns out that the opposite is the case, and he is siding with Gatsby to make this character stand above all others and shine. Nick Carraway could be one of the finest examples of reader manipulation in literature. But his sympathy towards Gatsby is exaggerated, not so much in actions, but in the much praised language of the novel.
From the beginning of The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway is developed as a reliable narrator. His honesty and sense of duty are established as he remarks on his own objectivity and willingness to withhold judgment. However, as the book progresses and Nick’s relationship with Jay Gatsby grows more intimate, it is revealed that Nick is not as reliable as previously thought when it comes to Gatsby. Nick perceives Gatsby as pure and blameless, although much of Gatsby's persona is false. Because of his friendship and love for Gatsby, his view of the events is fogged and he is unable to look at the situation objectively.
“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said this and this quote has greatly influenced the theme statement for this paper. The theme statement for this paper on the Great Gatsby is some people are willing to put up a false façade in order to become something they think is better and they lose their true selves in the long run. This paper will go through three examples of putting up a false façade. First the paper will go through Jay Gatsby, then Nick Carraway and finally the paper will wrap up with the parties that Gatsby throws.
Nick Carraway is Jay Gatsby’s closest and only companion. Nick said, “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited—they went there” (Fitzgerald 45). Gatsby did not have friends that appreciated him enough to comprehend his inner being (Fitzgerald 45). When Gatsby grinned, Nick Carraway could instantly feel comforted and sympathized the way a real friend should feel. According to Gilbey, “But with the sound of Nick's description of that smile: ‘It seemed to understand and believe in you just as you wanted to be understood and believed in’” (Gilbey). Nick Carraway held several unspoken and interesting conversations with Gatsby (Vancheri). Jay Gatsby displayed his feelings and experiences from his past to Nick Carraway. Gatsby can trust Nick with his emotional memories towards Daisy. Jay Gatsby explained his real background to Nick wanting him to overlook all the rumors and lies people have babbled about (“Great”, Scott).
No one can be perfect in everything; it is good to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. Jay Gatsby was a man of secrets; he leaves an insightful mark on every person he talks to. Gatsby’s neighbor, Nick, says “it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.”(Fitzgerald 6-7). Nick was simply appalled by Gatsby and wanted to know about him and any secrets he may have, Nick felt Gatsby was a great man of mystery and was extremely interesting. Gatsby told Nick “I don’t want you to get a wrong idea of me from all these stories you hear” (69), then opened himself up to Nick and told him “My family all died and I came into
Much debate has been brought to Capitol Hill concerning the legalization of the Marijuana. Analyzing the history, data, and health effects of marijuana it becomes clear that the debate for the legalization of marijuana should be seriously considered and should be brought to congress as an issue that can stimulate the economy and bring together a divided nation. This issue along with many others will not be a reality until congress takes action and addresses the issue directly. Conflicting views arise when so much time effort and money have been spent to eliminate drugs. America’s “War on Drugs” has been an intense operation to eliminate narcotics on the streets and often catch the criminal distribution before it even reaches the public. Citizens of the United States have petitioned for the legalization of marijuana since its origin, yet minimal progress has been made and the illegal existence of the plant remains. Congress has faced the vote to legalize marijuana countless times while the majority of politicians favor the ban on the substance, however there are certain individuals of political office that have and continue to vote for its legalization. America’s emphasis and concern for the use, distribution, and growth of marijuana is outstanding with arrests reaching nearly 5.9 million since the year 1990. A large amount of time, money, and man-power has been applied to the operation of controlling the substance of marijuana in society and many people argue against this. As long as marijuana is not legalized, the debate and fight for its legalization will undoubtedly continue from the millions of people who use the herbal matter in this country alone.
As an unreliable person cannot be considered a credible source, Nick Carraway does not reflect the characteristics of a reliable narrator. From the very beginning Nick had no chance of being reliable, due to his god-like role assigned to him by Fitzgerald. This role not only gave him motivation to paint others in a poor light but also opportunities to show just how human he is in his hypocrisy. As Nick is human and a main component of the story, his narration is heavily biased in favor of Gatsby and this is made apparent in his
Lies are a treacherous thing, yet everyone tells a few lies during their lifetime. Deceit surrounds us all the time; even when one reads classic literature. For example, F. Scott Fitzgerald makes dishonesty a major theme in his novel The Great Gatsby. The falsehoods told by the characters in this novel leads to inevitable tragedy when the truth is revealed.
In the book “The Great Gatsby” we have the character Nick, which at first, gave the impression of a nice person, because in the book he states that keeps all judgments to himself, stated in, this quote, “ In consequence I am inclined to reserve all judgments.” This gives an idea that Nick while knowing the character of another keeps his ideas to himself, in addition, it shows that Nick is aiming to keep the judgments that his father gave him with out giving up, even though it has caused Nick a lot of trouble. That make Nick boring, nonetheless, he continued showing an ambition to keep his fathers advise, ...
The Great Gatsby, a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is a novel that tells the story of different peoples lives and how they are intertwined with each other. The story is told from the viewpoint of the character Nick Carraway. It is through his eyes and ears that the reader forms their opinions of the other characters. In the novel the characters trust Nick and confide in him quite a bit. He thinks of himself as an open minded non-judgemental, non-partial person. I think that it is almost impossible to live your life and not judge others and also not be partial and judge different individuals with different standards.
Throughout the entire novel it is clearly portrayed that Nick Carraway is not a moral character by any stretch of the imagination. Nick Carraway may seem to have some good values, but he is in fact immoral for many reasons. First, Nick uses Jordan Baker; he never actually became interested in a serious relationship with the golf star. Miss Baker is basically just a fling to him. Secondly, Nick Carraway always seems to be the middleman in all the trouble that is going on in the novel. The narrator knows about all the lying, deceiving, two-faced things that are going on throughout the story, and he is completely ok with it. Also Nick defends Gatsby even though he very well knows of all Gatsby's criminal activity and liquor smuggling. Finally, Nick is the character who sets up two of the main characters, Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby, to have an affair. It never crosses Nick's mind that it is an immoral thing to set up an affair. During the novel there is a discussion between Gatsby and Nick about when to set up the secret meeting with Daisy. During this exchange Nick actually says, "I'm going to call up Daisy tomorrow and invite her over here to tea.
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.