What are some quotes describing Nick Carraway and his purpose in the Great Gatsby?

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,952 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Because Nick is narrating after the events of the story have taken place—he's thus a first person objective narrator—he has a perspective on the other characters that we lack because he knows how the story ends. He's not telling it as it happens, and so we don't learn with him; he tells it later, and so he's better able to shape the telling of the story so that we like who he likes, sympathize with who he does, and dislike whoever he thinks is worthy of judgment. For example, in the first chapter, he tells us why Gatsby is "great":

There was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life. . . .   [It] was 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. No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 601 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Susan Smith eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write713 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial