Nick Carraway Vs Jay Gatsby

In this essay I am traveling to contrast and compare the characters Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In malice of the external differences between them, they have a great trade of similarities as good. Because of this I intend to look at both of the characters and point out what is different or similar and why.

Nick Carraway originally comes from Minnesota. He is non rich, but he is non hapless either. He was educated at Yale and he served in the First World War. When the novel begins Nick goes to New York City to larn more about the bond concern. He moves to a topographic point called West Egg, which is a fictional/story bound country of Long Island. There he gets a little, modest house and he becomes the neighbor of Jay Gatsby, a individual he subsequently befriends and becomes really close to. Nick has jobs when it comes to perpetrating to adult females. He ca n’t look to do a lasting fond regard to them. He had a fiance back place, but he cut contact with her, went east and denies that they are engaged when Daisy asks him about it ( p.21, Ch.1 ) .

Nick is the storyteller and besides participates in the narrative, and the full novel is told through his eyes. He tells the narrative of his neighbor and friend, the great Jay Gatsby.

Jay Gatsby can be seen as the chief character every bit good as the “ star ” of the narrative. He is a affluent adult male who lives in a large sign of the zodiac in West Egg. He is celebrated for the large parties he throws every Saturday dark. At the beginning of the fresh no 1 knows where he is from, what he does for a life, or how he made his luck. In the class of the narrative Nick learns that Jay was born with the name James Gatz, that he comes from a farm in North Dakota, and that he made his luck through condemnable activities. Jay served in the First World War as good Nick, and after the war he went to Oxford to seek and acquire an instruction. Jay is in love with Daisy Buchanan, Nick ‘s 2nd cousin. Gatsby fell in love with her when he was developing to be an officer in Louisville, but they lost touch and now he is willing to make anything to win her dorsum.

When it comes to money Nick and Gatsby live in two different universes, even though they are following door neighbors and close friends. Jay lives in a sign of the zodiac and he is a really affluent adult male and there is nil more of import to him than fiscal success. He makes his money through condemnable activities, like for illustration repairing games. Even his relationship with Daisy is extremely affected by money and her luxury. Nick on the other manus lives in a modest small house, but he appreciates what he has. He is non a really affluent adult male, but he is in chase of the American Dream. He makes his money by working in the bond concern for a company, and takes the train into the metropolis every twenty-four hours.

Gatsby is willing to make anything to win Daisy back ; he has ne’er gotten her out of his caput and likely ne’er will. All he wants is to travel back in clip to the glorification yearss they had, but they ca n’t make that every bit long as Tom is in the image. He keeps stating that she have to state Tom that she ne’er loved him, and that she has ever loved Jay. In the terminal, Gatsby gets so despairing that he tells Tom himself, something that does n’t stop good for anyone ( Ch. 7, p.138 ) .

In contrast, Nick can non look to perpetrate to a adult female without running away. As mentioned, Nick has a nameless fiance back in Minnesota, a miss he practically denies the being of. Then there is Miss Jordan Baker. An independent individual adult female, who plays golf. Nick and her has some sort of a short matter, but they go their separate ways in the terminal of the novel, every bit good as everyone else.

Nick and Gatsby do non merely have their differences, but they besides have their similarities and/or things in common. To get down with, both of them comes from the Mid- West, and moved Es to West Egg. As stated before, Gatsby comes from North Dakota and Nick comes from Minnesota.

Another of import thing they have in common is Daisy. Daisy is Nick ‘s 2nd cousin and Gatsby ‘s lost love. Daisy and Gatsby met in Louisville, but he had to travel to the war. Jay went directly to Oxford after the war to seek and acquire an instruction so he could populate up to Daisy ‘s luxury. She was supposed to wait for him, but two old ages after he went to war Daisy married Tom. Gatsby was ne’er able to bury her. This might acquire you to believe of why Jay invited Nick into his life in the first topographic point. Be it so he could acquire near to Daisy once more? Is Jay and Nick ‘s relationship based on a prevarication?

One last obvious thing these two work forces have in common is the fact that they both served in the First World War and they both went to good schools. Nick went to Yale, with Tom, before he went to contend in WW1. And as mentioned, even though he did non travel for long, Gatsby went to Oxford right after he had served in WW1.

Nick can be seen as an foreigner in the novel. He is the lone 1 who is non affluent and he does non quite fit into the crowd of Jay and Daisy. Although Nick is fascinated by the Swift, entertaining life style of New York, he besides finds it to be monstrous and destructive. He is an honorable intelligent adult male who observes the people around him in peace and quiet. It is non merely Nick that can be seen as an foreigner, Gatsby can besides be sort of an foreigner in the narrative. He is a rich adult male in West Egg, but all the other rich people live in East Egg, the more stylish of the two.

The characters are different in many ways, but despite that they really are more similar to each other than they are different. This might be hard to see as you read the book, but when you subsequently look at the characters you can see that the ground for them to look so different is because they have different ethical motives or criterions. You could state that they fundamentally had the same upbringing, but when they came to the point of taking a way in life they chose otherwise, e.g. Nick chooses to work hard and work his manner up, whereas Gatsby wants money quick and easy and chooses to acquire them through condemnable activities. In the terminal of the novel we learn that Nick is Gatsby ‘s merely true friend, which might be because of Nick ‘s ethical motives and honestness. Can these qualities be the ground for Gatsby ‘s invitation into his ain life?


Andreas Kitzing Online. ( 2013 ) . The Great Gatsby – Relationship between Nick and Gatsby. Located 27.02.2013 at hypertext transfer protocol: //

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. ( 2011 ) . The Great Gatsby. London, England: Penguin Group.

Lecture notes from 30.01.2013

Sparknotes. ( 2012 ) . The Great Gatsby – Character List. Located 26.02.2013 at hypertext transfer protocol: //

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