Nick's Personality In The Great Gatsby

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Nick Carraway, from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, proves to be a reliable and consistent judge of character, though this hardly seems the case with respect to his judgements of Jay Gatsby. Throughout the novel Nick often displays contradictory attitudes towards Gatsby; at times admiring his eloquence and the others dismissing him as a liar and a cheat. The following pair of quotes represents Nick’s indecision: “‘They’re a rotten crowd,’ I shouted, across the lawn. You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’” Then just moments later he states, “I disapproved of him from beginning to end” (Fitzgerald 162). Nick’s opposing views on Gatsby are tied to his own prejudices towards the wealthy coupled with Gatsby’s perfidious personalities. …show more content…
Gatsby’s private personality is charismatic and idealistic. According to Oxford Dictionary an idealist is “a person who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations,” and Jay Gatsby fits this definition to a tee. Throughout his life, Gatsby imagined, and in doing so created his future. As a poor farm boy from the Midwest James Gatz wanted nothing more than to rid himself of his modest past, and sure enough, by perusing his mission of self-improvement he met the wealthy Dan Cody. Upon Cody’s death Gatsby decides he will become wealthy, which was certainly not practical, but by living ambitiously he succeeded rather quickly. Later he decides to set his sights on Daisy Buchanan, a love from his past, who he knew was a married woman. However impractical, he truly believed she would leave her husband for him. Even after their affair was discovered and ended Gatsby remained sure that Daisy would run away with him, and escape her marriage, though no facts at all pointed to this course of action. Nick admires the innocence and modesty of Gatsby’s private personality. On the other hand, Gatsby’s public personality is quite different. Among the people of New York Gatsby gains the reputation of a showy criminal. In public Gatsby attempts to portray himself as old money, and in doing so often imitates what Nick most hates about New York’s …show more content…
The morning following the discovery and conclusion of Daisy and Gatsby’s affair, Nick visits Gatsby’s home. There the two men wait hopefully for a phone call from Daisy though their efforts were unfruitful. As they wait Gatsby tells Nick the truth regarding his past. After quite a bit of time elapsed Nick decides he must leave and begin his workday. As he walks away from Gatsby’s estate he yells out “‘They’re a rotten crowd,’ I shouted, across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together’” (162). In the moment in which Nick says this quote, he sees Gatsby as a victim of the continual recklessness of the upper class. During Gatsby’s rendition of his past, he told Nick of his fling with Daisy in Louisville before he enlisted, still lingering on the sentiment that Daisy would run away with him. This instance truly exemplifies his idealistic nature, the part of Gatsby that Nick respects and admires. Recognizing the fact that Gatsby was a victim of the upper class, and was, in fact, acting in his private personality, Nick tells Gatsby how much better his sentimental and idealistic side is as compared to the pretentious and careless East Eggers. Then, just moments after complimenting him Nick says he “- disapproved of him from beginning to end” (162). Nick first came to know Gatsby through his public reputation, as a party-throwing criminal. As a person with scruples, Nick did not

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