Discuss Nick's character in chapter 9

2 Answers | Add Yours

dstuva's profile pic

Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In The Great Gatsby, Nick, the narrator, relates the aftermath of Gatsby's death in chapter nine.  When doing so, his first job is to narrate whatever reveals further information about Gatsby, as well as about his father and those who might be expected to attend his funeral.  He also narrates his accidental meeting with Tom.  He reveals a great deal about all of those characters in chapter nine, but not so much about himself.

There are bits and pieces present in chapter nine concerning Nick, though.

Nick really begins to feel united with Gatsby in this chapter.  He seems to be in a situation in which he and Gatsby are on one side, and everyone else is on the other.  He writes:

I found myself on Gatsby's side, and alone.

He tries to get people to come to Gatsby's funeral, but with no success. 

Tom is one of the people on the other side of Nick and Gatsby.  Nick is indignant with him, because he suspects that Tom is the person who told Wilson that the car that hit Myrtle is owned by Gatsby.  He even confronts Tom, which is unusual for Nick.  He refuses to shake hands with Tom, and says directly:  "...You know what I think of you."  Then he asks Tom:  "...what did you say to Wilson that afternoon?"   

Nick is also somewhat sentimental and reflective in this final chapter.  He concludes his narrative with:

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.  It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther....And one fine morning--

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.


pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

To me, Nick's behavior in this chapter, especially, makes him the most attractive character in the book.

Throughout the book, Nick has had his doubts about various aspects of Gatsby's character.  He likes Gatsby, but knows he is flawed.  Even though he knows Gatsby is flawed, he tries very hard to get people to come to Gatsby's funeral.

To me, this is very kind of Nick.  I do not think that he is doing this for himself.  It seems that he is trying to get people to honor Gatsby for Gatsby's sake.  This makes Nick seem very kind and caring.

We’ve answered 317,456 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question