Character Analysis Of Nick Carraway

1359 words - 5 pages

Money has an effect on everyone in both good and bad ways. People who possess a great wealth and live in upper class society tend to exhibit decadence due to their high status. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby contrasts differing moral aspects of wealthy lifestyles. In the artificial world of the East Coast, Nick Carraway distinguishes himself as a model of morality. Although the glory of power and money in the East Coast overwhelms Nick, he still clings to the values he learned while growing up in the Midwest. Nick is situated in the West Egg to represent his closeness to Midwestern values and continues to believe in them as he gets older. Nick's father advises his son, stating, "'Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone [. . .] just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages you've had'" (Fitzgerald 5).Nick's father knows that possessing money can easily lead to hauteur, so he reminds his son that he is lucky to be so successful. Throughout the novel, Nick remains conscientious of his mannerisms because of his father's teachings. Roger Lewis claims, "The younger Carraway has one foot in the past and one in the present; his allegiance to his father's older, more careful manner is maintained at the cost of constant surveillance" (42). Nick knows better than to judge others on their immoral actions, so he is careful about what he says and does. Even when Gatsby asks Nick if he would like to be a part of Wolfsheim's illegal business, Nick chooses not to participate in Gatsby's corrupt business dealings, even though these illegal activities make a great deal of money. Nick is never shallow enough to judge Gatsby on how he makes his money illegally. Nick states, "I'm inclined to reserve all judgements" (Fitzgerald 5). Although Gatsby participates in a dishonest industry, Nick chooses not to think any less of him. Nick shows himself to be staid by reserving judgments on others because of his upbringing. Despite East Egg's affluence and refinement, Nick shows disgust for its residents' lifestyles. It is not long after Nick meets up with the East Eggers for the first time in years when Nick becomes aware of the inhabitants instability. Nick may be related to the Buchanans, but he disapproves of East Egg's overall moral character. When Nick sees the Buchanan's lack of concern for him and their love for gossip, Nick incredulously says to himself, "Their interest rather touched me and made them less remotely rich -- nevertheless, I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove away" (Fitzgerald 24-25). Here, Nick proclaims that seeing the Buchanan's artificial concern towards him made them seem less rich and more ordinary. Nick also sees through the incessant lies that are told to him throughout the novel, yet he never outwardly acknowledges it to others if someone is lying. When Myrtle's sister, Catherine, informs Nick that Daisy will not divorce Tom because she is Catholic, Nick is, "a little shocked at...

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