Analyse F Scott Fitzergerald’s Presentation of His First Person Narrator, Nick Carraway, in Chapter 1. Essay
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Analyse F Scott Fitzergerald’s presentation of his first person narrator, Nick Carraway, in Chapter 1.
In writing “The Great Gatsby”, Fitzergerald uses Nick Carraway as both a participator and an observer in the events that transpire in the months the book spans. Nick acts as the moral measurement tool of the novel, letting the reader know of the uneasiness of substantial preliminary events, and of a finale of ultimate doom. Carraway's greatest contribution is his ability to sometimes observe and other times participate in the events in Gatsby's life. This allows him to remark on the extravagance of the Jazz Age without removing himself from it, giving a more immersive experience for the reader, whilst altering the perspective in order to fit what Fitzergerald wants us to think. This unusual way of narrating- both attached and separated from events- is probably a reflection of Fitzergerald’s personal life, one of writing books and attending parties with his wife, both fascinated and repulsed by everything going on around him. This influences the way Nick is presented in the novel, and how the people & places around him are too- as a retrospective writer, Nick is able to screen his words, essentially making the reader biased towards his opinion.
At the beginning of Chapter one, Nick introduces himself by saying that he tries to live by a piece of advice that his father gave to him in his “younger and more vulnerable years” (implying that he now lives a cynical, wearier life). The advice his father gives him- “’Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” – directly informs the reader that whilst the Carraway’s are privileged, or at least consider themselves to be, they also see themselves as moral people, people that don’t judge others for things that aren’t