The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover
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Why does Nick move to the East?

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Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

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After coming home from the war, Nick feels restless. The war has changed the way he sees the world, making it feel like a much bigger place with a great deal more to offer than the quiet "wide lawns and friendly trees" of his home in the Midwest, and he is anxious to see and experience more. Nick has already been to college and everyone he "knew was in the bond business," and so he figured that this particular business could support at least one more person: him. Nick's father agreed to pay his bills for a year, as all of his aunts and uncles seemed to think that his plan to join the bond business was a good one, and thus Nick assumed that when he moved East, it would be a permanent move. He planned to make his life, himself, in the East.

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Sarah Miles eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter 1, we learn a great deal about Nick. Nick narrates the story and starts the book off, by telling us about himself. He says he has moved to New York to be in the bond business. He goes on to tell us that the people there are the kind of people he hates, except for Gatsby. Jay Gatsby had a way of winning a place in Nick's heart. I think Nick saw the real Gatsby, the part of Gatsby, that he had fought to hide. Nick saw the realness about him and he appreciated that. 

It is funny how Gatsby became so important to Nick. Nick was not the type to be impressed with wealth and privilege, yet he sees a different side to Gatsby. He sees that Gatsby is not like the other people he is associated with. Nick thinks that Tom and Daisy can be pretty fake and doesn't understand the way they are. He can relate to Gatsby. Gatsby and Nick become extremely close friends and the story is told from Nick's point of view. 

I like having the knowledge that Gatsby had one true friend. A friend that just wanted to be his friend, not because of money, just because he liked him. In the end, Nick, proved that he was the one true person in Gatsby's life. Nick was faithful in his friendship with Gatsby and proved just how much Gatsby meant to him.

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okshanny eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Nick has returned from serving in WWI and like many verterans feels the world has changed. "Instead of being the warm centre of the world, the Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe - so I decided to go East and learn the bond business."

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eebersole | Student

Nick believes the East will be more exciting than the Midwest, so he decides to learn the bond business in New York.