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In The Great Gatsby, Is Nick a Reliable Narrator?

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Nick Carraway is one of the main characters in The Great Gatsby. He is the story’s narrator, and therefore, readers see everything through his eyes. Despite Nick’s promise “to reserve all judgments,” he is not entirely trustworthy. However, it is clear that any criticism coming from Nick is not intentional. Overall, he is a pretty reliable narrator.

Detailed answer:

Nick tells the story as a set of flashbacks from two years before (1922). As the narrator, he promises to save his judgments for himself. He is determined to be as objective as possible. Nick mentions that he is aware of his privilege. Therefore, he promises to reserve his criticisms of people who may not have had the same advantages. After all, Daisy and Nick are cousins. They both come from an upper-middle-class background. They get various ‘bonuses’ in the way they get treated. In that regard, readers can expect Nick to be as unbiased as possible.

Despite Nick’s promise to be objective, he claims that his tolerance has a limit. He describes himself as modest and not quite emotional. It is an excellent sign as it shows Nick does not tend to exaggerate. He also takes pride in his honesty. He says that “I am one of the few honest people I have ever known.” This quote may be subjective, but it should still be considered as evidence of Nick’s trustworthiness. As you can see, Nick Carraway’s detailed character analysis proves that he is a reliable narrator. Readers can expect an unbiased story from him.

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"In The Great Gatsby, Is Nick a Reliable Narrator?" IvyPanda, 28 June 2021, ivypanda.com/q/in-the-great-gatsby-is-nick-a-reliable-narrator/.

1. IvyPanda. "In The Great Gatsby, Is Nick a Reliable Narrator?" June 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/in-the-great-gatsby-is-nick-a-reliable-narrator/.


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IvyPanda. "In The Great Gatsby, Is Nick a Reliable Narrator?" June 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/in-the-great-gatsby-is-nick-a-reliable-narrator/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "In The Great Gatsby, Is Nick a Reliable Narrator?" June 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/in-the-great-gatsby-is-nick-a-reliable-narrator/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'In The Great Gatsby, Is Nick a Reliable Narrator'. 28 June.

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