“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” - Nick Carraway’s father 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.
We learn to trust Nick as a narrator, because all the pieces of information he gives to us, received through symbolism, imagery, or personal reflection, lead us to make significant decisions regarding the other characters of the novel. His character, on the other hand, cannot be looked upon in the same manner; it can be seen as dishonest and hypocritical, yet it is these negative characteristics that humanize him, allowing readers to relate to him as a person. What Nick thinks as the narrator is not always the same as what his character portrays. In just the third paragraph of this book, we learn that Nick is "inclined to reserve all judgments (Page 5)," but that his tolerance, "has a limit (Page 6)." True, his opinions might not be expressed in words, but it is important to realize that those opinions still exist.
The picture of Oxford?’ shows he’s neither charmed nor wholly disgusted by Gatsby. Nick sees him as the best of a‘ rotten crowd’, his approval is always relative– compared to Tom and Daisy his dream like innocence is attractive, though twisted into an impossible goal and only nearly achieved by criminality. But compared to Tom’s ruthless attitude to Myrtle and Wilson, Daisy’s careless abandonment of Gatsby and ultimately their complete inability to see their wrong–‘ if you think I didn’t have my share of suffering . . .
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. Fitzgerald's book at first overwhelms the reader with poetic descriptions of human feelings, of landscapes, buildings and colors.
Nick of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby claims to be a narrator with the greatest form of objectivity, though throughout the book he proves himself by his blind eye and blatant praise of Gatsby and his chastisement for others. The reader has barely begun the book and almost immediately Nick provides the reader with a most flattering description of the man who lends his name to the novel itself. Nick begins with warning us that Gatsby is not a righteous man, for he scorns Gatsby, but then promptly segues into telling us of his inner beauty despite his aforementioned flaws.We are then treated to a description of Jay Gatsby’s “extraordinary gift for hope, [his] romantic readiness such as [Nick] has never found in any other person and which it is unlikely [he] shall ever find again.” (2) We still have yet to meet Gatsby and here we are bombarded with praises for his “heightened sensitivity to promises of life” (2) and so on. Nick is attempting to teach the reader to condemn the “foul dust” that “floated in the wake of [Gatsby’s] dreams” (2) but still love and admire everything that he represents to Nick. Through doing so, our narrator is setting us up for developing predisposed notions about the character when Nick has just described to us how glad he is that he is “inclined to reserve all judgments” (2) until he is sure of what are that known facts.
His down-to-earth character shows how superficial Daisy and Tom are. They are ruthlessly practical, where as Gatsby is a hopeless dreamer. Nick guides the reader between these two extremes while remaining a detached observer whilst being involved in the action-- “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” Nick’s aim to be truthful and objective makes the reader trust him. When Nick says Gatsby has a “rare smile with a quality of eternal reassurance in it,” the reader knows his riches or parties, but is telling it to the reader straight aren’t charming Nick. His contempt for much of what Gatsby says, but also Nick’s tolerance, is emphasized when Nick doesn’t mock him-- ‘“I lived .
In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick’s unreliability as a narrator is blatantly evident, as his view of Gatsby’s actions seems to arbitrarily shift between disapproval and approval. Nick is an unreliable and hypocritical narrator who disputes his own background information and subjectively depicts Gatsby as a benevolent and charismatic host while ignoring his flaws and immorality from illegal activities. He refuses to seriously contemplate Gatsby’s negative attributes because of their strong mutual friendship and he is blinded by an unrealized faith in Gatsby. Furthermore, his multitude of discrepancies damage his ethos appeal and contribute to his lack of dependability. Among the first indicators of Nick’s unreliability as a narrator is shown through his extreme misunderstanding of his father’s advice.
The novel places realistic views and does not hold romantic value besides that of the character Tom Sawyer. Huck does not understand why Tom makes every task so complex yet, Huck is very admirable of Tom's ideas. Throughout the book Huck asks himself if Tom Sawyer would approve of the way he deals with certain matters. This shows dramatic irony because Tom would not be stuck in these situations that Huck is in, in turn adding to Huck's naivety. This brings the readers to the Dauphin and Duke, who take advantage of Huck because of his gullibility, tricking him into thinking they are of a royal class and deserve superior care.
He explains how he ended up at the very bottom in life, and that there is no happy ending. Author J.D. Salinger is able to get the theme of innocence across by the characterization that attributes Holden, such as his attempt to protect himself from the adult world, to stop himself from growing up, and to preserve purity. Although Salinger does not explicitly state that innocence is a theme, it can be assumed by the characterization in the novel. Holden makes the comment, ‘what really knocks me out is a book, that when you're all done reading it, you wish that the author who wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it (Salinger 18).” But Holden’s mistake is that a book is not its author.
Nick describes himself as “one of the few honest people that I have ever known” (Fitzgerald, 59). Although, Nick thinks this of himself, there are many things in the story that hint otherwise. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick is not a reliable narrator. This is seen through his negative judgments of others, his friendship with Gatsby, and because he does not know everything about Daisy and Gatsby. First, throughout the novel Nick is constantly judging others.