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Analysis of an Observer


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This novel is nothing shy of a story told through the eyes of an observer. Nick Carraway, a Minnesota man carrying firsthand experience of the battle field, tells the tale of his move to New York and of the relationships that intertwined him to the new friends he made there. Although one would strongly infer that having a militaristic background hardened one’s personality, turning one into an everyday Tom Buchanan. Though this was not the case, throughout the novel Nick’s choices, displayed upon every page, earns him the title as “push over” in the novel the Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald.

For example Carraway’s passive nature rises to the surface when Tom has him go visit his mistress. Of which he was practically forced into. Tom sternly invited Nick to meet his significant other, other, with the possible rejection that comes with an invitation omitted as an option. “I had no desire to meet her but I did” (Nick,24). This quote shows how Nick truly possessed no wanting or interest in meeting Myrtle. Though in overtaking his wants with that of another’s, Nick submissions to meeting of Myrtle. It also shows how easily Nick surrenders to a stronger power, that being Tom. “…taking hold of my elbow literally forcing me off the car” (Nick,24). This quote demonstrates how Nick falls victim to the higher power, in this case Tom, in an everyday situation. The passive nature of Nick turns him into a doormat allowing Tom to wipe his feet with every forceful decision he makes.

Nick’s submission to the wanting of others is also showcased when Jordan and Gatsby decide for Nick to introduce Gatsby to Daisy. Nick could have resisted or refused, but instead he lets Jordan, a dishonest golfer, accompanied with a Gatsby, a materialistic bootlegger, convince him to betray his good friend Tom. Yes, good friend over the course of the novel, from Tom and Nick’s frequent time spent around each other, somewhat of an implicit bond was formed between the two. His betrayal is shown through the fact that he is practically setting up Gatsby with Daisy, despite Daisy’s marriage to Tom. Jordan and Gatsby believe they are right in this even though she’s married, because they think Daisy deserves better. “And Daisy ought to have something in her life” (Jordan,79). One can infer that Nick is only going through with this because Gatsby and Jordan have this whole idea planned out. Since they are also friends of Nick and they have so much energy invested in this plan, the pressure makes Nick sink to the point where he’ll go through with betraying his good friend. So in the end the collaborated wants of Jordan and Gatsby trump Carraway’s as he passively becomes willing to help reconnect the former lovers.

Due to the misfortune brought upon by Daisy, Gatsby, Jordan, and Tom indirectly have Carraway keep his mouth quiet about Daisy’s error. In the situation Carraway has the option to be done with dealing with all of the ridiculous arguments and tension between Gatsby and Tom, by turning Daisy in and moving away. However instead due to the peer pressure brought upon by family and friends, Carraway is indirectly forced to keep his mouth quiet pertaining anything of the car crash.




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