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Explore the presentation of Nick as a narrator in the first three chapters of The Great Gatsby

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Explore the presentation of Nick as a narrator in the first three chapters of ?The Great Gatsby? Nick comes across as an unreliable narrator throughout the first three chapters of ?The Great Gatsby?, especially during Chapter two at the party, where his use of ellipses suggests to the reader that his knowledge is distorted. Also, nick is unable to give an accurate account of what has occurred in the society he has become acquainted with before he moved to West Egg and therefore his insights into events are based on hearsay and rumours. Jordan has become a source of Nick?s intelligence, and he demands information from her at Gatsby?s party ? about Gatsby himself ? however he then goes on to describe her as ?incurably dishonest?, casting doubt on everything she has said previous to this. Furthermore, Nick does not confirm whether the information he has been told is truthful or not, he merely states what he has been informed without expanding on this, thus it is unclear to the reader if Jordan is a reliable source of information. ...read more.


Furthermore, the ease at which he has adapted his characteristics is similar to the ease that the disciplined society of the Great War changed at its sudden abrupt end; although he is being critical about the changes that have happened since that point in time he is actually changing in the same way, thus emphasising his hypocritical mannerisms. Nick seems to have been caught up in the moral decay of the society; the only mention of his engagement is from Daisy in Chapter 1, and in the form of the ?certain girl? that played tennis at the end of chapter three, but the lack of detail given about her suggests that he doesn?t believe that fact to be entirely important ? especially considering that Nick is writing about past events. Based on the romantic imagery that he uses ? ?one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance? ? and the romantic ideals he appears to believe in, it seems out of character for him to skip over his engagement, thereby suggesting that he has been caught up in the moral decay within the society. ...read more.


It implies that he doesn?t have a mind of his own ? he would rather sit and watch from the side-lines than actually get involved ? and this is emphasised when Tom drags him off the train to meet Myrtle, ?I followed him?. The valley of ashes appears to intrigue and repulse Nick almost simultaneously ? this is made apparent through his use of imagery, ?spasms of dust?. This is perhaps because, whilst Nick thinks that he has seen the ?real world? he has in fact only seen a shaded version of reality as he comes from a reasonably well-off background ? implies through his great-uncle being able to send a ?substitute to the Civil War? in his place, which was something that only the rich could achieve. Part of Fitzgerald?s skill in ?The Great Gatsby? shines through the way he cleverly makes Nick a focal point of the action, whilst simultaneously allowing him to remain sufficiently in the background, thereby being able to comment on what events were unfolding; throughout the novel, Nick functions as Fitzgerald?s voice. Alex Wright 12DEW ...read more.

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