Why does Nick in The Great Gatsby think he's one of the few honest people he knows?

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Nick Carraway, in The Great Gatsby, considers himself one of the few honest people he knows due to the pervasive dishonesty in his surroundings. He is surrounded by characters like Jordan, Tom, Daisy, Myrtle, and even Gatsby, who consistently lie and deceive. Also, Nick's upbringing in the Midwest, a region associated with simplicity and honesty, instilled in him a deep sense of honesty and objectivity, making him stand out in a society riddled with deceit.

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Nick thinks he's one of the few honest people he knows because literally no one else around him is honest! He calls Jordan an "incurable liar"—though he claims that most women are liars (and, in the book, this too seems true). Tom Buchanan is a huge liar, cheating on his wife with a string of women; he took vows in marriage upon which he has most certainly reneged. Daisy Buchanan is also a liar, pretending for all society that she is happy and blithe, when, really, she is cynical and unhappy. Myrtle Wilson is also a liar, cheating on her poor husband, George, with Tom, and breaking her marriage vows. When Nick meets her sister, that sister also tells lies about Daisy and Tom. Even Gatsby is a liar, fabricating stories about his past life and keeping his current occupation secret because it is illegal. Nick really is one of the very few honest characters in the novel, next to George Wilson and Gatsby's father.

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Nick is honest and he prides himself on this attribute. He comes from the Midwest and honors the simplicity and honesty that is (sometimes stereotypically) characteristic of small town America.

The book begins with Nick’s description of his father’s advice about honesty and objectivity. His father warned him about criticizing others who have not had the advantages he has enjoyed. These advantages are not jus monetary. He is referring to being born into a family and society that stressed honesty. Consequently, Nick says that “I’m inclined to reserve all judgments” (1). From the very beginning of the book, the narrator declares that he is as honest and objective as he can be. There are limits to his objectivity, but the first few paragraphs of the novel definitely establish Nick as an honest guy and a reliable narrator.

Within the context of the novel, Nick stands out because he is surrounded by dishonest people. So, Nick thinks he’s one of the few honest people, because beyond the world of small towns, he has found few honest people.

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In The Great Gatsby, Nick thinks he's one of the few honest people; why?

At the beginning of The Great Gatsby, Nick notes how his father taught him to appreciate the advantages he's had and that others may not have had those advantages. Nick intuits that his father meant much more than that, so Nick decides that he will be open-minded and "inclined to reserve all judgments" (Chapter 1). Because Nick claims that he goes about his life open-minded and reserving judgment, he is quite serious and consistent in this approach to life and therefore, he is honest in that he honestly tries not to judge anyone. 

As the novel progresses, Nick engages with people at Gatsby's parties, Daisy, Jordan, and Gatsby himself. Among many of these people, Nick observes superficiality and blatant dishonesty. Tom cheats on Daisy. Daisy eventually cheats on Tom. And although Nick has an affinity for Gatsby's idealism, Gatsby's persona is an illusion. Nick observes the people at Gatsby's parties, thinking they are just using him for the place of a social gathering. This becomes apparent when Nick discovers that most of the guests know next to nothing about Gatsby. Of Jordan Baker, Nick says: 

She was incurably dishonest. She wasn't able to endure being at a disadvantage and, given this unwillingness, I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool, insolent smile turned to the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard, jaunty body. 

Nick consider himself honest from the outset. But as a young man from a Midwestern town encountering such superficial elitists in the city, he considered himself even more honest by comparison. 

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