What is the theme of this quote, " I was a pathfinder, an original settler," which Nick says in the beginning of the story?how would this quote be significant in the plot of this story.

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you examine the themes one by one using this quote, you can interpret it in various ways.  "Culture Clash" is one theme.  The quote, spoken after a man asked Nick directions to West Egg Village, not realizing that Nick was new also, made Nick feel like he was the "old pro" who knew his way around and that gave Nick a feeling of self-confidence.  He felt more a part of the new culture in which he now lived.  He would find out though, that he ultimately, could not incorporate the values of this new culture into his own life and he moved back to the midwest.  Another theme is "the American Dream".  Nick felt he was chasing his American Dream by moving to West Egg.  He felt like a pioneer setting out in the New World and when the man asked him directions, he now felt like an experienced pioneer; one who had staked a claim. "Appearances and Reality" is yet another theme in the book.  It appeared to the man who stopped Nick and asked for directions that Nick was a long-time resident of the area when the reality was that he had been a resident for only a day.  Finally, the theme of "Moral Corruption" can be found in the quote.  West Egg and East Egg both came to represent moral corruption to Nick by the end of the story. When Nick headed to New York at the beginning of the book, he was full of wide-eyed optimism and a sense of adventure. By the time Jay Gatsby was killed though, he'd lost all of that optimism and he was no longer naive.  He saw that people took advantage of others and used other people with no remorse or sense of responsibility.  He left West Egg with disgust at the lack of morality he saw there.

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The Great Gatsby

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