The Great Gatsby Characters

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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The Great Gatsby- Character Studies What are the main Characters in The Great Gatsby? The two characters are Nick Caraway and Tom Buchanan. Nick tries to please everyone and is very moral, whereas Tom pleases himself, and is immoral.

At the start of the book, Nick is a typical American country boy. He believes that he always must be polite and considerate, as Nick says in p 7: he believes "a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth [to everyone]"�. He has a very high moral integrity, and believes that everyone else holds his values. Nick's attitude makes him naïve and vulnerable to those that would deceive him, or oppress him. Nick moves to West Egg with what he thinks is every Americans dream, presumably to make one's fortune, and start a family in the "˜big city', but Nick's dream is beaten down by Daisy, who gives Nick the wisdom of her experience as a country girl in the city, and Jordan, who shows Nick the city life.

Nick realises how oppressive Tom is subconsciously, but seems to see his old "˜friend' through rose-tinted glasses, saying on pp 12-13 " "Now don't think my opinion"¦ is final"� [Tom] seemed to say "Just because I'm stronger and more of a man than you"�."� The quote shows Nick's understanding of Tom's arrogance, but Nick also says (p 13): "[Tom] wanted me to like him"�. Only someone who had respect for the subject would think like that, because we make friends with people, who we think want to be our friends.

Nick never considered that infidelity existed, on page 20, Nick is very shocked when Jordan tells him that Tom has "got some woman in New York"�, but later realises that, for Tom, it's actually less surprising than...