What are the differences between Fitzgerald's and Nick's observations in The Great Gatsby? 

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although the novel is written in first person narrative, with Nick as the main voice, it is possible for a first person novel to also reveal information not known to the narrator. There is an overarching voice to this novel, and in most of Fitzgerald's fiction, that portrays the author's own persona as a romantic, idealistic but also often cynical man. The "voice behind the voice," that is, the perspective of Fitzgerald that overshadows Nick's observations, allows us to understand that Nick's willingness to trust Gatsby and to romanticize his actions, are a result of his own character flaws: his innocence, his lack of assertiveness, his gullibility. This theme flows throughout Fitzgerald's fiction: young men who slowly lose their idealism because they are treated poorly (used, betrayed, manipulated, seduced) by others. The way Nick tells this story suggests he has learned a great deal about himself as well as Gatsby; and despite his disillusionment he still has deep love for his friend.

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The Great Gatsby

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