It is apparent that the point of view plays an important role in any novel as it influences the way readers understand and interpret the whole story. Point of view is usually expressed through a certain type of narration. A narrator in the novel is the one who tells the story, and it is defined by how the author chooses to portray information and opinions. Sometimes, the narrator provides insight into how the author views events and characters and reveals his/her personal opinions. In other cases, the narrator remains unprejudiced and does not provide any evaluations or visions.
In The Great Gatsby, the narrator is Nick Caraway, one of the main characters of the story, who is present at almost every major event throughout the novel. Fitzgerald makes him a peripheral first-person narrator, and such a choice is not accidental. The matter is that even though Caraway is an important figure in the novel, he does not show his personal opinions and feelings vividly. As a result, in the story, he seems to be partially removed.
Point of View in Fitzgerald’s Novel
The readers see all the events through the prism of Caraway’s vision, and his point of view influences the readers’ interpretation of events. Such a technique is extremely effective in case of Great Gatsby’s tale because it helps to keep the readers in suspense from the beginning to the end. The matter is that the narrator is ignorant of any events and thoughts beyond what is told to him, and it makes the readers intrigued.
Point of view is essential in The Great Gatsby. Although the readers perceive the events through the vision of Nick Caraway, the author does not impose his personal opinions on readers. Fitzgerald ensures that his character gives nothing away. As a result, the readers have to make conclusions themselves. Due to such a technique, the novel is very effective in entertaining readers and keeping them interested throughout the whole story. The manner of narration leaves the readers curious about what the characters of the story think and feel and gives an opportunity to make own conclusions and interpret the text differently.
For example, at the end of the novel, the author tells about one gentleman’s statement concerning Gatsby’s death. This gentleman told that Gatsby got what he deserved. This statement makes readers think of how they feel about his death, whether they agree with the gentleman or pity Gatsby.
Nick Caraway as the Narrator
In The Great Gatsby, the character of Nick Caraway can be viewed as a kind of vehicle used to gather information about Gatsby. His character is particularly effective in describing all the “true colors” of Gatsby and his actions comprehensively. The matter is that he is a narrator and an innocent bystander simultaneously.
At the same time, besides being extremely important for revealing the events in the novel, Nick Caraway is also a unique personality. He is different from all the other characters, who are primarily reckless people who do not care about others. Because of the fact that Nick’s values and behavior differ from his friends’ life principles and actions, he is an outsider in this society. Nevertheless, he is present at all most important events and turning points in the story. He witnesses the key scenes that help tell the readers everything about Gatsby from his point of view.
Nick is shown as an ever-present yet aloof narrator who describes everything in a logical and cool manner. He does not judge other people or impose his thoughts and values on readers. For example, he does not judge Gatsby for his immoral principles and actions. At the same time, he provides important details concerning the settings in which the key events occur as well as some general information and background regarding other characters. Being a present yet rather distanced narrator, Nick ensures that the readers have freedom in choosing their attitudes and forming personal opinions about characters and events. For instance, one of the most important descriptions given by Nick Caraway is presented in an episode where Tom Buchanan hits Myrtle at the Manhattan apartment. He tells the readers what happens and remains logical and cool about what he witnesses. Finally, he simply leaves the apartment, and it emphasizes once more Nick’s being an aloof character. He is able to distance himself and his feelings from what is happening to give the readers an objective picture. Such a unique character as Nick Caraway makes the novel special and effective. As a narrator, he is aloof and ignorant of other characters’ hidden thoughts or motives. As a result, a reader is able to comprehend the events together with him
In his novel, Fitzgerald uses a specific type of narration. A narrator is a character of the story, Nick Caraway. He is an ever-present yet distant character, and he reveals all the important information about other characters to readers. Due to the fact that he does not reveal his personal opinions and doe not judge others, the readers are able to interpret the text according to their personal thoughts. As a result, the novel is intriguing and keeps readers in suspense from the beginning to the end.
Point of view plays an extremely important role in Fitzgerald’s novel as the readers see the events from the narrator’s point of view. At the same time, Fitzgerald makes it possible for readers to develop personal points of view as the narrator remains unprejudiced and logical in his descriptions. In other words, readers are able to view each character from an objective and comprehensive perspective. At the same time, what is particularly significant is that the narrator is ignorant of the hidden subtexts and motives of actions as well as of other characters’ feelings and thoughts. It makes readers believe him and stay curious developing own assumptions.