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How reliable a narrator do you think Nick is based on what you have read in chapters 1 and 2 Throughout the opening of the book we meet Nick Carroway and he exposes many strengths

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Introduction

How reliable a narrator do you think Nick is based on what you have read in chapters 1 and 2 Throughout the opening of the book we meet Nick Carroway and he exposes many strengths and weaknesses as the narrator of the book "Great Gatsby". In this essay I will explore what contributes to him being reliable as well as his drawbacks as the narrator. Nick is never directly involved in any of the events. He only ever observes what is going on and this leads to a very unbiased outlook on the events. If Nick was more involved he may not give the reader such a clear outlook on the story line. This also suggests Nick is possibly not used to being in social situations, like at Gatsby's house party, and this could hinder his interpretations of the events. ...read more.

Middle

He initially treats Gatsby with contempt claiming at the opening of the novel that Gatsby 'represents everything for which I have unaffected scorn.' One of his most unreliable moments was when he got drunk, at a time of prohibition. This was when he went to meet Toms other woman Myrtle. The reader is meant to think this is bad but Tom seems to have no concept of this questioning his morals as the narrator. There is an ellipsis from him being in the lift to waking up in bed with a man looking at a portfolio of 'beauty and the beast ... loneliness ... Old Grocery ... Horse ...' and this had no connection whatsoever to the previous events, making him very unreliable at this point. ...read more.

Conclusion

This knowledge and insight means Tom could begin to form slightly biased opinions of Tom Buchanan. Nick appears to be very uncomfortable in some situations. This is evident when he begins drinking and when standing alone at Gatsby's party. He is desperate to find a companion and when Jordan appears he insists on joining her. This is interesting in some ways, as it shows the reader a more insightful view of the party as he observes things like the falseness of the woman and age of the female guests. But at the same time he may miss crucial things important to the plot. In conclusion I think that when Nicks many strengths and weaknesses are put together he is quite a weak narrator because he is too obsessed with the people and his opinions of them and he misses out large areas of the plot when hes drunk, or skips a section. Sam O'Brien ...read more.

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