• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider this view of Gatsby, with particular reference to his relationship with the various Long Island circles in which he moves.

Extracts from this document...


"They're a rotten crowd... your worth the whole damn bunch put together." I've always been glad I said that. It was the only complement I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end." Consider this view of Gatsby, with particular reference to his relationship with the various Long Island circles in which he moves. Nick Carraway's tolerant manner and astute observations, combined with the pivotal position he occupies within the context of the novel, appear to make him the ideal character to mediate a shrewd and decisive portrayal of the people around him. However, this contradictory opinion of Gatsby casts doubt upon the validity of his judgement. Only when the reader compares the character of Gatsby with this "rotten crowd," does it become apparent that Nick's ambiguous response has a sound foundation. Although Gatsby is not without faults, Nick observes compassion, generosity and "a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again." He empathises with the intensity of Gatsby's dream, which may be impure and unattainable, but never the less elevates him above the carelessness and scepticism of the "foul dust," that trails in his wake. Fitzgerald's decision to write the Great Gatsby from a first person perspective challenges the reader to place their trust in the narrator. ...read more.


Throughout the novel, Nick witnesses many sides to Gatsby's character. He sees him in the greatest crisis of his life, while he is awaiting Daisy's arrival with a "strained counterfeit of perfect ease" and looking "as pale as death," as well as in the most satisfying moment of his life, when, his dream begins to look like reality and he is "consumed with wonder." These images of Gatsby are far removed from the one of him "standing alone on the marble stairs" almost dispassionately, while "looking from one group to another" as if he was incapable of showing emotion. But this is what elevates Nick above the average person at the party. He is not prepared to accept the "romantic speculation" about Gatsby being a German spy until he has found reliable evidence to back this up. This is one of the many reasons why people such as Jay Gatsby and Jordan Baker place their trust in Nick and more importantly is the chief reason why any discerning reader should do exactly the same. When analysing the novel in greater detail, it is easy to see why Nick "disapproves" of Gatsby "from beginning to end." Everything that he represents is in direct contrast to Nick and his traits of character. Where Gatsby is vulgar, immoral and insincere Nick remains dignified, pious and honest, giving him stronger reasons to criticise Gatsby and the "American dream" that has made him. ...read more.


The reader shares this view, and although he proves this to be his true background, there is always a lingering question over the sincerity of Gatsby's words. With a lack of faith in his honesty and a strong disapproval of his lifestyle, the question of how great Gatsby is becomes inevitable. It is important to remember that Nick voices the same concerns over Gatsby's personality and only complements him within the context of the novel. The fact that he is "worth the whole damn bunch put together" implies that the other characters really must be a "rotten crowd," because as Nick says, he already disapproves of Gatsby. This suggests that they are not only much worse then Gatsby, but there is a redeeming feature to his character that Nick relates to and approves of. Tom Buchanan, more then any one else within the novel, represents this "foul dust" that trails in Gatsby's wake. He is portrayed as a completely egotistical character, who shows no compassion to those around him and whose actions are solely determined by his selfish needs. Having a mistress may show a complete lack of respect for his wife, but satisfies his lust, and breaking Myrtle's nose may be brutal, but prevents her from betraying his commands. In both of these cases, Tom has illustrated that he doesn't give a second thought to the pain he may cause others, and will use any means available to achieve his desires. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. "Gatsby is a Victim of the American Dream." Discuss Scott Fitzgerald's Portrayal of Gatsby ...

    end of the novel when she is run down, and immediately killed by Daisy. Myrtle's husband makes the simple mistake in thinking it was Gatsby who was responsible for Myrtle's death. Tom does not admit to his wife's wrong doings and, knowing full well the outcome of what is to come for Gatsby, informs Myrtle's husband of where Gatsby lives.

  2. Discuss the significance of the Jazz Age in the Great Gatsby with reference to ...

    in which Gatsby lives and a insight into how people lived at that time. I believe that this model of Gatsby's wealth through out the book is trying to prove the point that money can buy you everything except love, which Gatsby continually is wanting from Daisy through out the book.

  1. ‘He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream’ with ...

    This perhaps enables us to infer a little of the wealth of a man able to afford an abode of such a scale and in such a location. Fitzgerald describes "his guests...his raft...his beach...his motorboats". Here the extended use of possessive pronoun draws attention to how much he owns.

  2. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on 24 September 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota ...

    Tom feels justified but Nick can't forgive him. Tom will never know that Daisy was driving the car. There is nothing between them now, no common ground and they part forever. Before he leaves West Egg Nick contemplates how strongly Gatsby followed his failed dream and thinks that we all

  1. Views on the role of Nick as a narrator in the Great Gatsby have ...

    Gary J. Scrimgeour questions Nick's honesty, 'Honesty in the end can only be based on some kind of powerful drive, and this is something that Carraway does not possess.' Arthur Mizner views Nick as a reliable narrator and he holds a positive view of him.

  2. Nick says of Gatsby,” I disapproved of him from beginning to end”, and also ...

    However, he doesn't. He criticises many of the characters throughout the novel and picks up on their faults and downfalls. This lack of tolerance is surprising considering his own father's advice, and as he points out just a few paragraphs on, 'it has a limit'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work