In The Great Gatsby, why and how do Nick's feelings change about Jay Gatsby?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the exposition of The Great Gatsby, Nick introduces himself as narrator and remarks that Gatsby at one time "represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn." However, now in retrospect, Nick perceives Gatsby as having had 

...a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.

It is this "romantic readiness," this grand conception of himself, that makes Gatsby come alive to Nick, "delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor." It is the pure belief of Jay Gatsby that he can, indeed, repeat the past, that he has the power to spring "from his Platonic conception of himself." Further, it is belief in love, his conviction the pursuit of a grail, his extraordinary gift of hope, his loyalty and chivalrous protection of Daisy are what bring Nick to call to Gatsby, "They're a rotten crowd....You're worth the whole damn bunch together."

While Gatsby remains a bootlegger and a fraud of sorts, Nick comes to admire Gatsby for his sincerity in love, loyalty, and friendship It is the Buchanans who are the careless people who value no one. 

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udonbutterfly's profile pic

udonbutterfly | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Nick always thought Gatsby had this air of mystery around him and that he had an exaggerated personality in the beginning of the book because Gatsby always had these huge lavish parties but seldom acted as the host. Then there was the part when Nick caught Gatsby standing out but the water reaching for the water with his entire body shaking which made Nick even more curios about Gatsby. However towards the end of the book Nick feels pity for Gatsby because no one cared enough for him to go to his funeral not even Daisy.

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