Explain how Nick might react to those people he disapproves of with the information from Chapter One.

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nick says in his narration at the opening of the story, that Gatsby represented everything for which he has an "unaffected scorn".  Nick is referring to the irresponsible, let-others-worry-about-the-consequences-as-long-as-I-have-fun attitude of some people in his society.  Also he is referring to the selfishness that comes with privilege and the way some people take all that they have for granted.  Jay represents this, but it isn't the way he really was - it was just an act he put on because he thought he was supposed to act that way.  Others in the story did act with those qualities Nick disliked.  Nick, however much he disliked someone, was polite and always the gentleman.  In the last chapter, when he meets up with Tom again, he at first doesn't want to shake hands with Tom because he disapproved of what Tom did in telling Wilson where to find Jay Gatsby and indicating to Wilson that Gatsby had killed Myrtle.  He does shake hands with Tom, though, because he realized from Tom's perspective, Tom's actions were justified.  This fits with what Nick says of himself in the third paragraph of the first chapter when he says, "I'm inclined to reserve all judgment."  Nick takes in other's people's view of things and tries to see through their eyes before he makes a determination about the people.  This is why he turns down Gatsby's offer of business when Jay asks Nick to arrange the meeting between him and Daisy.

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The Great Gatsby

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