Explain what Fitzgerald achieved by using Nick's point of view to tell Gatsby's story?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nick establishes himself as being somewhat an outsider, a native of the midwest who has migrated to the East for his career, which allows him to assume a detached view of the habits and values of the easterners he encounters. Nick is able to observe and analyze the actions, reactions, faults, and potentials of Daisy, Tom, Jordan, and Jay Gatsby because he is "inclined to reserve all judgments" and because he sees the New York attitudes and habits for what they are - empty practices with no real substance or lasting meaning.

Fitzgerald uses Nick's commentary on the characters and events in The Great Gatsby to voice his own personal feelings and opinions. Throughout his life, Fitzgerald met many people from many walks of life and agreed with Nick's reluctance to judge any person too hastily. Fitzgerald and his wife enjoyed the lifestyle of the well-to-do and the intellectual elite; Nick allowed him to reflect on the beauty and the shallowness of that era.

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The Great Gatsby

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