Le Chevalier au Bouclier vert

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Odile Weulersse

Essentially, Nick represents the reflective, quiet part of Fitzgerald's personality. Nick is from the Midwest, and things in the East are very different for him. He is shocked by the debauchery and the amorality seen there, and turned off by the way people live with so much emphasis only on the material things. He is young, and in New York so he can learn the bond business. Even though he lives in West Egg, right next door to Gatsby, he is not caught up in the trappings of the wealthy like many of the people who live there. Because he is Daisy's cousin, he can assist in and observe the love affair that is taking place between her and Gatsby. He is the best choice to narrate the entire novel, because he uses that narration to create what feels like a memoir of the experiences he had with Gatsby and the others throughout the summer of 1922 on Long Island. Nick also has the right temperament to narrate The Great Gatsby, since he is a much more open-minded and tolerant person than most of the other characters seen in the course of the story.

He is a good listener, and that often prompts people to tell him things that they might not choose to divulge to others. Gatsby treats him as his main confidante, and it is clear that he trusts Nick. Even though Nick has a secondary role throughout some of the novel, he is still seen as a main (if not the main) character, because he is so strong in defining the differences between himself and the others. He does not spell this out, but it comes through in the way he acts versus the other characters in the story. He comments on events and describes them, but does not dominate the action of the novel. However, he is able to function basically as the voice of the author, making him highly valuable for Fitzgerald in getting his point across to the reader without belaboring it. Nick's reaction to life on the East Coast is very mixed. There are things about it he enjoys, but the materialism and strong lack of compassion for the plight of others begin to weigh on him. These internal conflicts that Nick faces do not resolve themselves until the conclusion of the story.

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