The Selectiveness of Nick Carraway : The Unreliable Narrator in The Great Gatsby

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation

Abstract: Many scholars have argued back and forth regarding the reliability of the narrator Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most well-known novel The Great Gatsby. Nick’s attention to detail in his narrative is the element due to which many scholars argue in favour of his reliability. One of these scholars is Wayne C. Booth, who was the first that introduced reliability and unreliability, and marked Nick as a reliable narrator. Nick’s account is a retrospective telling of events which happened two years earlier and Booth argues for Nick’s reliability because he provides the benefit of hindsight. However, in this essay, I will argue that Nick Carraway is an unreliable narrator as the consequence of his selectiveness that is visible in the narrative. Through Nick’s selectiveness, four categories are evident: concealment of information, censorship, memory, and drunkenness. As a result, these categories, alongside the central aspect of selectiveness, verify the suppression of the complete plot which Nick hides from the reader.

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