Nick's role in the Great Gatsby along with the Fitzgeralds use of symbols and techniques

Essay by mikkydJunior High, 9th grade November 2002

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The Great Gatsby

The novel "Great Gatsby" can be described as a series of events as seen through the eyes of a central figure around which the story takes place. This novel represents a materialistic society where success is equated with wealth and where the American dream is an object of desire for all people who wish to live a better life.

Nick Carraway plays the vital role of the narrator, but in spite of this he is also seen as the role of a participant, which indicates the importance of his part in the novel. Nick narrates the novel after two years of his experience, therefore not only implementing clarity but also neutrality to the main storyline. As the story is seen through the eyes of only one-character (Nick Carraway) limitations are built up, such as the repeated concern of bias. A key technique used by Fitzgerald is the use of speech that overcomes the concern of any bias faced by the readers, whilst contributing to the characterization and understanding of the characters.

The first essential role played by Nick in this novel is of a narrator. This is first seen by the detailed observations of the characters starting with Gatsby. "Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him". As the novel continues Nick's observations of Gatsby slowly come together as bits and pieces of information develop. I feel that this gives the readers a wider perspective of Gatsby's character, allowing different views of Gatsby to be mentally drawn. Nick possesses the quality of expressing the physical and emotional reactions of characters which is another technique used by the author.

Fitzgerald uses symbols to represent different situations within the story...