Tricky Nick?

Anonymous's picture

"Everyone suspects himself of a least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known."


Do you think Nick tells us the truth?

Tomes upon tomes of scholarly writing have been devoted to the question of whether Nick, as “constructed” by Fitzgerald, is “a reliable narrator,” with scholars fighting bitterly for years to “prove” the point one way or another.

The great thing about talking about books on Titlepage is that here we don’t have to worry about publication, service hours, or tenure review. We can just talk about books.

So, what do you think?

casper goodwood's picture

Don't know about you, but

Don't know about you, but some of us are still thinkin' about tenure, particularly as it makes the classroom one of the last bastions of public intellectual freedom, eh?!

At any rate, I never quite understood what the big deal was about Nick. His "truthfulness" makes him uninteresting among the characters and, at times, he seems little more than a narrative plot device to keep us moving along. Is he merely the "everyman" to whom we are supposed to relate (assuming we don't really think of ourselves as Daisy or Gatsby), period, end of story? Kind of a yawn, no? Of course, admittedly, Gatsby's realism was never really lefty enough for me to be as engaged in this drama as, say, Studs Lonigan. But, naturally, that's just my ten cents...

gretchen bourquin's picture

Not to answer a question

Not to answer a question with a question-- but is ANY narrator reliable? I think Nick is an "everyman." but Daisy and Gatsby are as well in their own ways. Nick is a retrospective version of Jay Gatsby-- someone who comes to terms with his own smallness by surrounding himself with the "largeness" of life. He is "the honest one" comparitively, but at the core he is starting out much the way Gatsby did.