Regarding Chapter 3, in what way are Nick and Gatsby similar at this point? Why are they paradoxical?Only chapter 3 based answers please provide a quote to explain answer

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One way in which Nick and Gatsby are alike in chapter 3 is that neither one is careless.  Jordan says to Nick, toward the end of the chapter, "I hate careless people.  That's why I like you."  Gatsby is very careful in how he presents himself.  He orchestrates his parties like he's conducting the Philharmonic.  He brings in lavish feasts with plenty of illegal alcohol.  He brings in people, too.  He does not drink because he wants to stay in control of everything.  Even his words are carefully planned.  This is emphasized by his affectation, "Old sport".  The two are different though, in the reason why each is careful.  Nick is careful because he cares about others and because he's honest.  He even concludes the chapter with the admitted realization of his one cardinal virtue - honesty - when he says, "I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known."  For Nick, being honest equates to carefulness because Nick does not like to lie to or to mislead people.  He is careful not to do either.  Gatsby, on the other hand, is careful to hide his true identity and motives.  His carefulness is required because of his lack of honesty.  He creates a false history and he does nothing to straighten out the rumors of his past.

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The Great Gatsby

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