What is achieved by Fitzgerald using Nick's point of view in The Great Gatsby?

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At the beginning of The Great Gatsby, Nick tells us about how he, because of his father's advice, tends to reserve judgment about people.  This immediately establishes him as a narrator who tells us the events without a great deal of judgment, letting us do our own assessing of the characters.  By having Nick tell us the story , we get to see through the eyes of one of the participants in the events which draws the reader into and closer to the story.  Also, since Nick is in a social class that falls between Gatsby and the Buchanans, we are given a more impartial glimpse into both worlds.  Finally, Nick lets the reader know from the beginning that he somewhat understood the very complicated character of Jay Gatsby when no one else did.

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It is very  interesting that Nick is the narrator who comes to sympathize with Gatsby's plight. Daisy is his second cousin, and he went to school with Tom,  yet, clearly he sides with Gatsby. Nick was surprised that he became so fascinated with a man he normally would never acquaint himself with. Nick recognizes the fallibility of Jordan and others,and claims to being non-judgemental therefore, in the end he is a fairly reliable narrator. 

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Nick is the moral center of the novel, and he sees how hollow the lives of the other characters are. Though attracted to Jordan, he recognizes her inability to make a commitment to anyone. He doesn't have the romanticism of Gatsby and sees the lives of the people on West Egg for what it is, false and unmeaningful. Nick inherited his code of conduct from his father, so he tells the story without judging the other people. Whenever he feels the urge to criticize, his father said to remember "that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had". Nick's solid background in the Midwest allows him to see life as it really is. Nick feels for Gatsby in the end, telling him that he's better than the "whole rotten bunch put together". Nick is able to distinguish between good and bad, appearances and reality, and truth from lies. He's a reliable narrator, but at the same time, he's a sincere narrator.

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Explain what Fitzgerald achieved by using Nick's point of view to tell Gatsby's story?

Nick establishes himself as being somewhat an outsider, a native of the midwest who has migrated to the East for his career, which allows him to assume a detached view of the habits and values of the easterners he encounters. Nick is able to observe and analyze the actions, reactions, faults, and potentials of Daisy, Tom, Jordan, and Jay Gatsby because he is "inclined to reserve all judgments" and because he sees the New York attitudes and habits for what they are - empty practices with no real substance or lasting meaning.

Fitzgerald uses Nick's commentary on the characters and events in The Great Gatsby to voice his own personal feelings and opinions. Throughout his life, Fitzgerald met many people from many walks of life and agreed with Nick's reluctance to judge any person too hastily. Fitzgerald and his wife enjoyed the lifestyle of the well-to-do and the intellectual elite; Nick allowed him to reflect on the beauty and the shallowness of that era.

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Explain what Fitzgerald achieves by using Nick's point of view to tell Gatsby's story.

Numerous answers exist to your question about what the author gains by creating Nick as the narrator of The Great Gatsby.  He gains a narrator, a narrator who is a part of the action, and a narrator who on the surface is an outsider who can objectively describe the shortcomings of the eastern characters.  The author gains a persona who can contrast his midwestern ways with the eastern ways of the other characters.  The author gains a persona who experiences for the first time much of what he describes:  parties like Gatsby's, mansions like Gatsby's, gangsters, etc. 

Perhaps more interestingly, complexity and ambiguity are gained by the use of Nick as the narrator.  Fitzgerald creates an unreliable narrator when he creates Nick.  Nick is not objective (he judges Tom based on their acquaintance when they were in college, judges Jordan before he's even introduced to her, etc.); thinks he's better than other people (you don't have to try so hard not to judge others if you don't inherently think you are better than them); and is not really an outsider (he knows Tom and Daisy before the present of the novel opens, and is, in fact, Daisy's cousin). 

Nick's personality and character are also questionable:  he dates the amoral Jordan, even though he has judged her as such (as well judging her to be a snob), and he doesn't notify the authorities that Daisy, his cousin, is the person who was driving the car that kills Mrs. Wilson. 

The fact is that everything we know about the characters in the novel is filtered through an unreliable narrator's eyes.  That's complexity and ambiguity.  We don't have a story in the form of a novel, we have a story as seen by and told by Nick.  He, therefore, is central to the novel. 

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What did F. Scott Fitzgerald achieve by using Nick's point of view to tell Gatsby's story?

By using a so-called "minor character as narrator" point of view, the author is able to inject his own commentary on the characters and events in the story without interfering with the dramatic movement. In other words, the author does not become an "intrusive author." Nick Carraway has plenty to say about everything and everybody in the novel. He is a judgmental type of person, although he claims to be very broadminded. Fitzgerald's only other alternative would have been to use the "omniscient third person" point of view, because he could hardly tell the story from Gatsby's, or Daisy's, or Tom Buchanan's point of view. If the author had tried writing his story as the invisible omniscient narrator, he would either have had to leave out a lot of the commentary on his own story, or else he would have had to be an old-fashioned intrusive author. That might have made the novel longer and more episodic and slower-paced. Fitzgerald was a young genius and might have written a brilliant novel in that alternative manner, but Nick Carraway as the minor character narrator seems like the right choice.

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What did Fitzgerald achieve by using Nick's point of view to tell Gatsby's story in The Great Gatsby?

F. Scott Fitzgerald creates an elaborate set-up with a sole narrator whose vision of reality the reader is encouraged to believe. Because Nick Carraway meets Jay Gatsby at the beginning of the summer, we come to know Gatsby via the same steps he took and to see him through Nick’s eyes. Nick presents himself as the polar opposite to Jay Gatsby, but the reader gradually learns that they have numerous similarities. We can think of the two men as alter egos. Nick emphasizes his own honesty, but in context, his statements come across as ironic. After criticizing Jordan Baker as “incurably dishonest,” a few paragraphs later, he states a suspicion about himself: “I am one of the few totally honest people I have ever known.”

In Nick’s narrative, he began the summer fascinated with the mysterious Gatsby and did not know which stories to believe about Gatsby’s occupation and past—bootlegger, killer, spy, Oxford man. In contrast, he paints himself as transparent, laying out specific facts about his own upbringing, war service, and Wall Street job. Nick is so convincing that the reader is almost certain to believe him. Ultimately, however, because he is the sole narrator, he is unreliable. The entire story of Gatsby’s decline and fall is filtered through Nick, so the reader can never know what is true. He initially portrays Gatsby as an eternal optimist, with a unique “romantic readiness” about him. At the end, however, the reader is left wondering if Nick is not the greater romantic.

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What did Fitzgerald achieve by using Nick's point of view to tell Gatsby's story in The Great Gatsby?

One specific effect of using a first person narrator comes in the natural limitations this narrative form creates. Just as Nick's access to the truth about Gatsby is limited, the reader's information is also limited. This dynamic allows the writer to carefully control the flow of information, creating anticipation and suspense.

In the case of this novel, Nick's limited perspective allows the mystery surrounding Gatsby to remain intact. We see how the control of information can impact the narrative in several places in the novel regarding Gatsby and, critically, at the novel's climax.

The details and circumstances of Myrtle's death are carefully doled out and details are withheld for maximum narrative effect. An omniscient narrative voice would not easily allow for the same style of narrative effect.

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