How and why does F. Scott Fitzgerald use Nick Carraway as his narrator of "The Great Gatsby"?

Essay by tomato-girlHigh School, 11th grade November 2009

download word file, 8 pages 3.0

“The Great Gatsby” is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest success. It was published in 1926, yet it is still a very relevant novel today. The story is not a complicated one; it is that of a group of young people in New York, and how their lives intertwine. However, the novel is much more complex than that. There are many factors contributing to making this story an interesting one; the themes, the symbols, the beauty of Fitzgerald’s language and also, using Nick Carraway as an engaged narrator.

Nick Carraway is a young man, who moves to New York in the spring of 1922 “to learn the bond business”. He rents a “clapboard house in between millionaire mansions” in West Egg, right next door to Jay Gatsby. One day, Nick receives an invitation to a party at Gatsby’s house; he decides to go and there meets his mysterious neighbour. Over time Nick realizes Gatsby is in love with Daisy, Nick’s cousin.

Nick brings the two lovebirds together, upon which they start an affair. Their lives and the lives of several other characters henceforth come together to form the wonderful story of “The Great Gatsby”.

Nick Carraway is the narrator who also has a role in the plot, therefore he not only helps push the story along, but he can describe in detail about the encounters he has had. At the very start of the novel, when he meets Tom and Daisy Buchanan he introduces them to the reader from his own past experiences. He describes Tom as a man who has reached “an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savours of anti-climax”, which helps us really identify the kind of man Tom is. Later he re-introduces Gatsby and Daisy to one-another, allowing the plot to truly commence. He lets...