Compare the similarities and differences between Gatsby and Nick in The Great Gatsby.

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Nick and Jay come from the Midwest.  Both of them see Tom for who he is.  He is an aloof elitist who thinks only of himself and his money.  However, both of them put up with Tom and remain "gentlemen" while he acts like a jerk.  Both Nick and Jay work hard for the money that they make, although they have different goals for that money.  Unlike Tom who has everything handed to him from family money.  Both men are from modest upbringings. Both men even go out of their way to please others.  Nick makes sure to have all of the right touches waiting for Daisy when she comes to "visit"/mean Jay (even though Jay goes overboard with helping him).  Jay constantly throws parties so that someday Daisy will visit.  Both men represent the West Egg's way of thinking and their morals.

Where they differ is in how they deal with Daisy and Tom. Jay finally tells Tom that Daisy loves him and will leave Tom for him. He is confrontational from that point on.  Nick doesn't confront Tom quite like that.  He is less aggressive.  Instead, he asks Tom what he told Wilson that afternoon.  He did refuse to shake Tom's hand, but he wasn't as confrontational.  He pretty much just let Tom and Daisy go. One last thing that the two did not have in common is that Nick was always truthful. Jay was not always.  He lied about how he got his money and he lied about his past.  He was a criminal when it came down to it.  Nick wasn't.  Nick was always a good guy, but he never would have the money that Jay had.

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The Great Gatsby

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