The Great Gatsby

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Nick, the confidant, plays significant roles, such as narrator, and a person in whom Jay Gatsby and the reader confide in.

Nick's various roles help to shape the theme of the novel. Nick narrates the story of Gatsby, a poor Midwesterner, who longs for reuniting with his lost love, Daisy, a rich materialistic girl. Gatsby's search becomes materialistic because he uses bootlegging, fancy parties, and riches to win her affection. Nick, narrating the events in The Great Gatsby, shines a light on the reader by providing the realization that materialism ends in fraudulence and corruption rather than the American Dream.

Gatsby's life, as well as Daisy, Tom, and Jordan's, is full of money, corruption and the false American Dream. Gatsby's life is a fraud, a sham, a cover-up, just to get Daisy back with him. Nick discovers Gatsby's real identity slowly throughout the novel and his position as the narrator in the novel helps the reader to discover this.

Since Nick grew up in the Midwest, where morals and real American values are cherished, he sees the contrast between east and west, between morality and immorality. Nick grew up with the values of hard work, respect (for self and others), and monogamy. The contrast is apparent when viewing Gatsby, Tom, Daisy, and Jordan's laid back life of parties and lounging around all day, no respect for lower classes, and adultery. The apparent contrast helps Nick to realize the east is corrupt and the west is moral. This realization of the wrong way to live derives from Nick's attendance at Gatsby's party, the party in New York, and the intertwined affairs of the other characters. However, Nick falls to the life of materialism because he is "...inclined to reserve all...