Unreliable Narration in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Laurel Button Mr. Tourais American Literature: G 6 December 2013

The Individual's Authenticity: A Further Exploration of Boyle's "Unreliable Narration in The Great Gatsby"

Perceived societal norms are interminably affecting personal action. The pressure to be smart, to be clever, to be rich-no wonder people so often lose sight of what of themselves is true and what is fabricated. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's acclaimed novel, The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway stands the paragon of a man too devoted to the opinions of others to be completely trusted. Thomas E. Boyle's critique of the book, "Unreliable Narration in The Great Gatsby," further corroborates this idea, noting time and time again Carraway's use of false or misrepresentative testimony regarding his own personality to easily win over the reader's opinion.

To simply agree with someone is to take the path of least resistance; to like someone, to find him agreeable. Therefore, it can be assumed that to be liked is to have made life easy. However, when someone constantly tries too hard to be liked, he is no longer taking the path of least resistance. Now, he is out of breath, walking on eggshells, and lying through his teeth. He can in no way be relied upon for the truth. Carraway is undoubtedly an unreliable narrator due to his desire to be liked by everyone he encounters, along with his need to follow the path of least resistance. The ongoing convergence of these two fixations leads to incredible self-compromise and in this case, ultimately, Carraway's complete lack of reliability.

Carraway's constant attempts to appear likeable in the eyes of every person clearly result in...