The Great Gatsby: Nick

Nick’s character was made to be the narrator of the book. Why do you think the writer Fitzgerald choose him as the narrator of the book? To someone who had never read the Great Gatsby how would you describe Nick? How would the story have changed had Gatsby been the narrator of the book instead of Nick? Thinking on the ideals of the American dream what part of it does Nick represent?

   I imagine, first of all, even Fitzgerald himself had the idea of using another character to narrate the “The Great Gatsby”. I believe Gatsby since the title of the book is the “ The Great Gatsby” but I think while writing it began to make the most sense to tell this story how he wanted to– to really explain his perception of life that he was aiming for he needed someone outside of the world almost entirely. Tom was out of the question because he would have, first of all, made a terrible narrator, he held no substance except being an ass. Daisy was out of the question too, because she was the love interest of the whole story so that would make it another impossibility it would be weird to narrate your own love story. Gatsby was at times to unstable and I believe the story would have been to mess to understand from his point of view, and Jordan was too far outside of the main story to really hold a good representation of what was happening. Nick was perfect because he truly understood both sides of the coin. He knew what it was to see people with money(pg.6) “I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbour’s lawn and the consoling proximity of millionaires” and to himself understood what it was to not have a lot either(pg.6) “ My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked,”. He had a unique of view of being basically a middle-class individual who could understand the world with and without money.
   To someone who has never read the Great Gatsby just know you will more than likely at the beginning think that Nick is a whiny bitch. Particularly with the way he describes his house on page 6 and his incredibly obvious pompous attitude. I have yet to truly like him, but later on in the story, really in the last paragraph of page 131 to the end of the book your opinion of Nick changes. At this point, I could not understand his overall personality at the beginning of the book, but at least now I have come to appreciate and see the loyalty he had within him. So if anyone were to ask me what I thought of Nick he’s that one friend who amongst all of your friends will follow you to the ends of the Earth when nobody else will. He’s the kind of person that’s so mean to you but will lend his shoulder to you to cry on for as long as you need. And honestly the most important, he will make sure to be the one to lay down that flower at your tombstone every year even after people have long forgotten about you.
   Now had Gatsby been the narrator I can guarantee this book would have been a hot mess. If I thought Nick was bad I know Gatsby would have been unstable. Gatsby’s character was a sad, twisted way of bringing to life the idea of rising up to be that part of the “American dream where you are a successful human being but all anyone is willing to remember is where you came from and not where you’re going. Gatsby had he been the narrator would have had extremely biased ideas where Nick was entirely objective and just stated what he saw. For example, this line(pg.52) “He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with the resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American-” in the eyes of Nick he was going based on his gut and his objective understanding of the world from both point of views that he has very closely got to see: Those who have experienced the “American Dream” i.e. the very wealthy upper class living off of old money and those who were from the new money. The pioneers of a new “American dream and I could imagine even a line as simple as this in the point of view of Gatsby would have been something more similar to this. “ In the moment of arriving at Nick’s house, I tried my best to sit back as the wealthy do.”. Now maybe not exactly this, but I believe that there was something lacking almost entirely in Gatsby’s mental state.
   While imagining the American Dream more so to be a satirical idea, today I imagine at one point to many Europeans, Africans, and Asians that had entered the country at this time the American Dream was something to be admired and people strived for to the best of their abilities. The chance to live in a free society where your ideas, opinions, and abilities to live with your family, provide for your family, and enjoy life based on your skills are things that any person who came to America that time was there for. However, this is hardly true. The struggle that Nick narrated from Gatsby’s love turned obsession with Daisy.(pg.124) “‘ Of course she might have loved him just for a minute, when they were married – and loved me more even then, do you see”’. To the death of Myrtle (pg.113) “Her life violently extinguished, knelt in the road and mingled her thick dark blood with the dust.”. To most importantly the death of Gatsby at the end of this book(pg.132) “ It was after we started with Gatsby towards the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body…”. The fact that Nick was the one to explain this all made me think of him as the life part of this whole “American Dream”. Nick is the part of the American Dream that life plays out in. He simply embodies what life is where it is heading. Life always continues on even as each person strives for their own American Dream. Life attempts to interject at times but truly allows each and every person to let their life play out.
   The Great Gatsby in my mind leaves much to the imagination, and as I stand I can’t tell whether that’s a good or bad thing. I feel that there’s so much leftover unanswered, but all in all, I hope Nick’s life gets to carry on and he eventually finds his happiness amongst all of the mess he was forced to face.