How Does Nick Describe Himself at the Beginning of The Great Gatsby?

The Great Gatsby is a novel in which the narrator, Nick Carraway, is introduced in the first chapter. He is from the Middle West and rents a bungalow in West Egg, near the estate of millionaire Jay Gatsby. Nick narrates the subsequent events and is an observer rather than the protagonist.


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In the first chapter, Nick reveals that he comes from a wealthy family in the Midwest and is a World War I veteran after graduating from Yale. Nick presents himself as a tolerant person who refrains from criticizing others, a trait he inherited from his father. He says he tries to reserve judgment, making him a reliable narrator.


Nick’s accepting nature attracts people and makes them confide in him. At college, he was accused of being a “politician” because he knew many secrets about others that nobody else knew. As the story unfolds, Nick becomes the confidant of critical characters, including Jay Gatsby, who is usually very private. This trait of Nick’s personality makes his narration more reliable, as he is seen as a trustworthy and unbiased observer.


Nick’s character and background make him an ideal narrator for the novel, as his non-judgmental personality and privileged upbringing give him access to a world of wealthy and powerful people. His honesty and impartiality as a narrator give readers insight into the characters and events that shape the story. Therefore, Nick’s personality and character are critical in shaping the novel’s themes and overall message.


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