The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of Nick as a narrator in The Great Gatsby?  

The advantage of Nick as the narrator is his proximity to the main characters and access to the intimate details of their lives. Nick's perspective as an outsider in the East Coast is another advantage, which parallels the reader's experience. Essentially, Nick is an outsider with special privileges and a unique view into the lives of the main characters. The disadvantages include Nick's romanticized perception of Jay Gatsby and his bias towards East Coast society.

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One of the primary advantages of Nick as a narrator is his proximity to the characters and intimate knowledge of their specific situations. Nick Carraway is Daisy's second cousin and knew Tom Buchanan in college. Nick's familiarity with Tom and Daisy gives him access to their luxurious lifestyle in the East Egg and the opportunity to be privy to the intimate details of their lives. For example, Daisy confides in Nick that she is not particularly content with her life and has become a jaded woman. Similarly, Tom Buchanan is comfortable around Nick and shares intimate details of his private life by inviting Nick to his downtown apartment in the city, where he carries on his affair with Myrtle. The fact that Nick is Jay Gatsby 's neighbor also gives him access to the West Egg, and he forms a close friendship with Gatsby. Another advantage of Nick being the narrator concerns his outside perspective. As an ambitious man from the Midwest, Nick has a unique outlook on the upper echelon of society in...

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