Why is Nick's choice to live at West Egg significant?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Nick's choice to live at West Egg is significant mainly because his modest cottage happens to be situated right next door to Gatsby's mansion. Gatsby becomes very friendly when he finds out that Nick is related to Daisy Buchanan, the woman Gatsby idolizes. Nick is the narrator of the entire novel, and it is essential for him to be in touch with the principal characters in order to be able to tell about all the intimate details of the story, including Gatsby's affair with Daisy and Tom's with Myrtle. The location also enables Nick to get a close-up view of high life in the Jazz Age. He only chose to live in that strategically located cottage because the rent was so cheap. No doubt it was cheap because it was located at a considerable distance from Manhattan. Nick never explains how he got to and from his office or how Gatsby found out he was related to Daisy. Nick seems to keep irregular hours to have lots of free time, probably because as a newcomer to the stocks and bonds business and a newcomer to the East, he has a small clientele.

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