Flashcards in Nick Carraway Deck (24):
Describe how Nick is very traditional.
He's from a well-off family in the Midwest and has lived a life of "privilege". His upbringing and education (at Yale) has made him quite conservative.
Describe how Nick thinks he's highly moral.
He thinks that he's "honest" and says he has "a sense of the fundamental decencies".
Why is Nick naive?
He thinks he's above the corruption and materialism around him and can remain immune to it.
How is Nick open minded?
He's simultaneously attracted to and disgusted by Eastern life, but maintains that he's tolerant and reserves "all judgements".
How does Nick become judgemental?
He condemns Tom and Daisy as "careless people" who "smashed up things".
How does Nick become careless?
Jordan accuses Nick of being a "bad driver" - she thinks he's guilty of carelessness, the very thing he accuses Tom and Daisy of.
How does Nick become morally ambiguous?
He helps Gatsby to have an affair with Daisy.
How does Nick become disillusioned?
He wants to move back to the traditional West. He realises that it's hopeless to try and escape the past.
How is Nick an effective narrator in terms of observing?
- He distances himself from the action, so that he can better comment on it. He observes but doesn't want to be observed. He wants "to look squarely at every one and yet to avoid all eyes".
How is Nick an effective narrator in terms of perspective?
He's not quite outside or inside either Gatsby's or the Buchanans' social circle, so he has an ideal perspective.
How is Nick an ineffective narrator in terms of subjective perspective?
He says that he thinks life is best "looked at from a single window" which suggests that he might not be looking at the whole picture - sacrificing truth for simplicity.
How is Nick an ineffective narrator in terms of his naivety?
He's easily persuaded by surface appearances. E.g he listens to Gatsby's stories about his past with "incredulity", but when Gatsby shows him a medal he immediately believed "it was all true".
How is Nick an ineffective narrator in terms of his exaggeration?
This could imply that he ignored the truth to make the story more exciting or romantic. E.g "the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star".
How does Nick place great value on love?
He helps Gatbsy have an affair with Daisy. He sees their affair as romantic, not immoral. He never blames or judges Gatsby's pursuit of Daisy and admires his "romantic readiness"
But give an example that he can't commit to any relationships of his own.
Nick only breaks it off with a girl back home when its clear that Jordan's interested in him. One of the reasons Nick moved East was to avoid 'being rumoured into marriage'.
Describe how Nick is concerned about appearances.
He lets a "short affair" with a girl in New York "blow quietly away" because her brother doesn't like it. He claims that he doesn't want anyone to "know or disapprove". This suggests that being seen to do the right thing is more important to him than actually doing the right thing.
How does Nick struggle to make connections with people?
He fantasises about entering the lives of New York women, but he never acts on his desires, despite his "haunting loneliness".
Why does Nick not commit to romance?
Possibly, he realises that if he does act on his desires then his romantic dreams would fall short of the reality.
How does Nick's attraction to Jordan reflective of how he feels about Eastern life?
He is both attracted and contemptuous of her. He likes her sophistication but not her carelessness, and breaks up with her when he grows sick of the East.
Give a quote to suggest his attitude in the break up parallels his attitude towards society on the East Coast
When Nick ends the relationship , he says that he was still "Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry"
How do Gatsby and Nick represent two sides of Fitzgerald's personality?
Gatsby is a reflection of Fitzgerald's celebrity lifestyle, Nick represents Fitzgerald's quiet and reflective side.
How is Nick like Fitzgerald in terms of attitude?
They were both simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by the debauchery of the East and each of them saw through the seductive Eastern lifestyle to the moral emptiness beneath.
How do Nick and Fitzgerald have different motivations?
Whilst Nick tries not to judge and implies that the novel isn't didactic, Fitzgerald wants the reader to make judgements and draw conclusions from the text.