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

The great Gatsby - Nick suddenly remembers his thirtieth birthday at a seemingly peculiar point in the novel - Why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Anna Paola Soliani 02/05/07 Nick suddenly remembers his thirtieth birthday at a seemingly peculiar point in the novel. Why? In chapter VII of The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick, the first person narrator in the novel, suddenly remembers that it is his thirtieth birthday. He, like Gatsby, Tom, and Daisy, the other characters of the novel, came East to get away from his past; now that he has turned thirty, his youth is officially over and he realizes that he may have made a mistake in coming East. This is why he begins a period of reevaluation that leads to his eventual decision to return to the Middle West. The Great Gatsby is the story of Nick's initiation into life. His trip East gives him the education he needs to grow up. Nick is unlike the other characters of the book; he is not one of the careless people. "[He is] one of the few honest people [he] has ever known." (60) He has a conscience, and is not selfish; he has decency, which is well demonstrated in the efforts he makes during Gatsby's funeral. ...read more.

Middle

"[He] was thirty. Before [him] stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade... Thirty, the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair." (136) Before this revelation moment, though, he drank whiskey and attended the parties. The main difference in his attitude, however, is that at first he ignores the superficiality; after, he realizes that he can't live in this society and decides to return to West. The fact that he doesn't drink before his revelation makes him a more reliable witness of society's failure. Nick's birthday and revelation coincide with Myrtle's death. She was killed by Daisy who was driving Gatsby's car. He was so much in love with her that he took all the responsibility of Myrtle's death and because of this he dies. Nick understands that he is the only one left to tell the story of the dreamer whose dreams were corrupted. When Nick states that "you can't repeat the past," (111) ...read more.

Conclusion

(181) This is why he decides to return to East. He understands the superiority of the East compared to the "bored, sprawling, swollen towns beyond the Ohio, with their interminable inquisitions which spared only the children." (177) Nick understands that he must leave this world made of children because he turned thirty, and at that age youth is left behind. "After Gatsby's death ... [he] decided to [go] back home." (180) But he is not a careless person, and decides that "there was one thing to be done before [he] left ... [he] wanted to leave things in order and not just trust the obliging and indifferent sea to sweep my refuse away" (180) like Tom and Daisy, instead, did. Whenever a person realizes that he/she is living and is able to reflect on the condition and situation he/she is in, then the person has ended its youth. This is what happens to Nick Carraway in Chapter VII of The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. As soon as he turns thirty, he has a revelation. The reflections he states after allude in general to the American society and to the failed American dream. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1980 ...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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work