In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, what exactly does Nick say when he speaks of Gatsby as his friend? 

In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, what exactly does Nick say when he speaks of Gatsby as his friend?

 

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter One, before he describes his first visit to Tom and Daisy's house, Nick says, "If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about [Gatsby], some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away."  According to Nick, then, there is something about Gatsby that makes him so aware of possibility, of what could be.  He seems so finely tuned that he can actually believe in possibilities in which other people might not be able to believe.

Further, Nick says that Gatsby had "an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again."  Nick almost seems to describe Gatsby as a kind of innocent; it's as though Gatsby has retained the innocent hopefulness that most people lose as they age.  Nick goes on to describe Gatsby as being the good one, the good character in the story, even though he is morally problematic in some ways.  It is the other characters in the story, the people who "preyed on Gatsby" -- people like Daisy, Wolfsheim, and most of his party guests -- who are the "foul" ones.

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question