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In The Great Gatsby, what importance is there in Nick's statement that "my family have...

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nessa108 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:47 AM via iOS

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In The Great Gatsby, what importance is there in Nick's statement that "my family have been prominent, well-to-do people ... For three generations..."?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 26, 2013 at 5:18 PM (Answer #1)

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This statement from Nick's opening remarks establishes 1) the theme of status/class in the novel and 2) aligns Nick with class concerns. 

While other characters are depicted as clambering after wealth and status, often ostentatiously, to a far greater extent than Nick, it remains true that Nick is also concerned with his own status. Not long after this statement is made, Nick discusses his intentions to become an intellectual (a well-rounded man). 

Naturally, Gatsby is the best example of concerns with status and class distinctions in the novel. However, as Nick's statement shows, Gatsby is just one of the many characters in the novel who anchor their identity with class identity

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