The Great Gatsby: Illusions and Delusions
A look at how Nick is a perfect counterpoint to Gatsby since he has no illusions about the wealthy and the beautiful.
“Nick Carraway, the narrator of The Great Gatsby commences the novel by reporting some advice his father had given him: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (5). Nick, a child of privilege, is able to maintain a rather jaundiced view of the wealthy and the beautiful women around him. Jay Gatsby, on the other hand, has struggled to become rich and he has never been able to overcome his childhood illusions that the rich and the beautiful are worthy of his respect. Gatsby wants to join wealthy society; Nick, already of member of it, is “inclined to reserve all judgments” (5). Nick, therefore, is a perfect counterpoint to Gatsby since he has no illusions about the wealthy and the beautiful. Nick also tells us that he highly values “conduct” (6) and he proceeds, throughout the novel to reveal the poor “conduct” of the wealthy.”