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Narrator

 

The Great Gatsby
 
The Role Of Nick Carraway as Narrator
 
The novel "The Great Gatsby" can be best described as a
narration of a series of events as viewed through the eyes
of an important central figure (Nick Carraway) around which
a story takes form. A general lack of importance associated
with the part a narrator holds, is a generalized notion
deduced from the analysis of most novels. However, a
reevaluation of the narrative process played by Nick
Carraway is required when it comes to the novel, "The Great
Gatsby" as such a concept holds little truth within the
domains of this work of literature. The process of
portraying virtually all physical and emotional actions and
the inferred establishment of a moral norm are two of the
main perspectives achieved through the author's usage of
narration. Nick's vital role is to enhance the flow of the
novel.
 
Physical and emotional actions/reactions of characters
within a story reflect their individual personality and
help the author create an image of a certain person or
group of people within the mind of the reader. Nick who is
endowed with a keen sense of observation is able to reveal
the nature of each character. Through Nick, the reader is
able to sense the shallowness of Tom Buchanan's emotions as
well as his harsh attitude. The brutality of Tom towards
his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, as described by Nick (page 37,
line 5 - below) is a vivid example of this. In contrast, we
see Gatsby, as being a physically and emotionally reserved
person (but not when it comes to Daisy). His general
hospitality and mysteriousness as described by Nick creates
an air of splendor and establishes him as a source of
profound curiosity in the minds of others. It should be
noted that unlike most other narrative description of
events, Nick's role in "The Great Gatsby" extends even
further as he also describes the characters personalities.
 
Nick 's first person viewpoint allows the reader to see how
the novel is being constructed as well as participate in
his sense of discovery as the separate strands of the
narrative take on meaning. He also has a very trustworthy
personality and his physical proximity to the main
characters serve him ideally to know details of the story
from many points of view and observe much of the action
first hand.
 
It is through such an analysis that the true importance of
the narrator in the novel is realized. Through physical and
emotional observations by Nick, we are allowed a general
feel for each character. A greater depth is also added to
each personality as the reader distinguishes between the
moral standard Nick holds and the morality of those around
him. The duality of Nick's role in the novel is thus a
clear indication of the importance he holds in the progress
of the story. 

 




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