Is nick carraway a reliable narrator

Synopsis[ change change source ] The events of the novel happen in the summer of Nick Carraway, a man who grew up in the American Midwestis the narrator.

Is nick carraway a reliable narrator

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual material on narrators, give your response to the above view.

A narrator can be defined as a person who narrates something, especially a character who recounts the events of a novel or narrative poem.

The concept of an unreliable narrator was first introduced by Wayne C. Booth, who defined an unreliable narrator as one whose credibility has been seriously compromised. Nick Carraway would certainly fit this description for many reasons.

The Great Gatsby contains all of these elements, especially the unreliable narrator. In the Victorian tradition that preceded the Modernist movement, a narrator was all-knowing, all-seeing, and often pronounced judgment of some kind in a story.

Modernism makes a clear break from this, as is exemplified in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald is careful to present Nick as ordinary and flawed to further dispel the Victorian tendency to bestow omniscience upon a narrator, whose presentation begins within the very first few paragraphs of the story.

Throughout the novel, we see things only as Nick sees them, hear only as Nick hears, and we understand things only in the way Nick understands them. Making use of an imperfect and limited narrator helps Fitzgerald to express another foundational idea of Modernism — that reality and truth are relative and dependent upon perception.

This proves that Nick is an unreliable narrator. Further support for the idea that Nick is an unreliable narrator can be found when we consider that Fitzgerald uses what is called a moderated first person viewpoint.

This means that although his narration is first person, it is partially based on accounts that have been given to him by others.

Nick is not trustworthy, nor fully reliable: Whenever Nick cannot obtain a first-hand version of facts, he does not hesitate to quote other sources.

Nick is obliged to reconstruct an event through the collage of different testimonies. Nick uses his logical mind to come up with a definitive story as a result of words that have been filtered by different minds.

That is why this first person viewpoint is modified: Nick can only rely on what he has been told. This modification calls his reliability into question.

Is nick carraway a reliable narrator

We could also consider that Nick is completely biased towards Gatsby. This same bias is evident with Nick Carraway. In light of this, it perplexes me that anyone could claim that Nick is a reliable narrator.

Those that oppose my view claim that, for most of the novel at least, Nick Carraway is a fairly reliable narrator. There may be some merit to this opinion, especially if we consider that Nick seems to have higher moral standards than the rest of the characters.In the beginning of The Great Gatsby Nick seems to be one of the main characters in the story, but as the novel progresses and the actual main characters enter on stage, Nick Carraway is a Reliable Narrator because.

A first-person narrative is a mode of storytelling in which a narrator relays events from their own point of view using the first person i.e. "I" or "we", etc. It may be narrated by a first person protagonist (or other focal character), first person re-teller, first person witness, or first person peripheral (also called a peripheral narrator).

A classic example of a first person protagonist. Narrative point of view. Narrative point of view or narrative perspective describes the position of the narrator, that is, the character of the storyteller, in relation to the story being told.

It can be thought of as a camera mounted on the narrator's shoulder that can also look back inside the narrator's mind. 15/04/ Reliability of Nick Carraway as the narrator of S. Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby”: The story is about Nick’s perception of, opinions on, and thoughts about other characters and events.


In The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway is not a reliable narrator. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual material on narrators, give your response to .

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Is Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby a reliable narrator? | Yahoo Answers