Nick Carraway's Epiphany in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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Nick’s Epiphany in The Great Gatsby

A soft breeze lifts off the Sound and brushes Nick Carraway’s face as he emerges from the shadows into the moonlight. His eyes first gaze across the bay to the house of Tom and Daisy where Nick sees past the walls to people who “...smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together...” (Fitzgerald: 187- 188). Nick’s head then turns to his side where he views Gatsby’ s mansion. His heart swells for the man who was unable to let go of the past, and move toward his future. With the two houses juxtaposed in his mind’s eye, Nick ponders his experiences in the East, and enters the car to take him home with a new perspective on life. Nick’s maturity becomes evident as his perspective of society becomes more realistic as a result of his observing the consequences which occur in unhealthy relationships.

Nick observes many relationships during his stay in New York, and looks upon these relationships with a perceptive eye. He sees that relationships which lack mutual feelings are destined for failure. Nick watches as Tom Buchanan meets with his mistress, Myrtle, and Nick notices the disparity in the respect that Tom and Myrtle have for each other. Myrtle appears to follow Tom’ s each and every demand, as if she were at the end of a tightly held rope, which Nick compares to the “...small expensive dog leash made of leather and braided silver” (166) which was found in Myrtle’ s drawer at her house. Myrtle’ s leash, one that could be used to control and manipulate every action of a person’s pet, is representative of Myrtle’ s willingness to subordinate her will to accommodate Tom’s demands. Myrtle’ s absolute de...

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