How does Nick change throughout the novel The Great Gatsby?

Throughout The Great Gatsby, Nick changes from a man fascinated by the lavish lifestyle of wealthy New-Yorkers such as Gatsby to someone who recognizes the cruelty, superficiality, and classism of this society and ultimately misses the simplicity and wholesomeness of the Midwest, which he longed to escape when he came to New York.

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At the beginning of Nick's reminiscence of the summer he met Gastby, he has "small-town syndrome."   He had just returned to Middle America (America's heartland and the center of conservative living) from WWI, where he had glimpsed everything from freedom to death.  His horizons had been broadened significantly, so when he returned after the war, he felt stifled in the Midwest; thus his longing for the decadent and fantastic lifestyle of New York, but the problem with the fantastic is that it rarely has anything to offer beneath the surface. 

When he first arrives in New York, Nick is fascinated by the lives of the wealthy and the freedom they embody (including freedom from responsibility, evidently).  However, as the novel progresses, he sees the impact of this behavior on the lives of others; he...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 431 words.)

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