The Great Gatsby: Character Analysis (with Quotes)

The Great Gatsby
Nick Carraway – The novel’s narrator, he is a young man from Minnesota who after going to Yale and fighting in the First World War, goes to New York to learn the bond business. He lives in West Egg, next door to Gatsby. Nick is also Daisy’s cousin, which enables him to observe and assist the resurgent love affair between Daisy and Gatsby. Nick is the narrator of this story, which functions as a personal memoir of his experiences with the two in the summer of 1922. As he tells the reader in chapter one he is tolerant, open-minded, quiet, and a good listener and as a result other characters tend to trust him and tell them their secrets. Gatsby in particular, comes to trust him and treat him as his confidant. Nick generally assumes a secondary role throughout the novel, preferring to describe and comment on events rather than dominate the action. Nick has mixed reactions to life on the east coast, he is attracted to the fast-paced, fun-driven lifestyle of New York. On the other hand he finds that lifestyle is grotesque and damaging. This is also reflected in his romantic affair with Jordan Baker. He is attracted to her vivacity and her sophistication just as he is repelled by her dishonesty and her lack of consideration for other people.   After Gatsby’s death Nicks view of the East is “distorted beyond my eyes’ power of correction”, he realises that the fast life of revelry on the East Coast is a cover for the moral emptiness that the valley of ashes symbolizes, he returns home in search of a quieter life.
• “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in the world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.” – Nick’s Father
• “Gatsby, who represented everything for which I had an unaffective scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate...