The Great Gatsby Essay
People have always judged one another. A person makes judgments about another person using known information. Determinants of a person’s judgment of another person may include the speech, behavior, or reputation of that person. In the opening paragraphs of his novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald characterizes Nick Carraway as hypocritical and arrogant by portraying these traits in Nick's words and actions.
Nick's words and actions emphasize his hypocrisy. Nick initially describes himself as "inclined to reserve all judgments" about other people. He claims that he is nonjudgmental and is willing to listen to other people's problems without judging them. However, as more and more people recite their problems to him he begins to "[feign] sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity". Pretending to be unable to listen to their problems, ...view middle of the document...
Nick can't bear listening to anyone else confiding in him, yet he makes an exception for Gatsby, the one person who embodies all the traits that he finds most annoying Through his repeated self-rebukes, Nick exemplifies and highlights his hypocrisy.
Through both his words and his actions, Nick's arrogance is revealed. Nick was raised in a wealth family in which he could always satisfy his wants. When he feels annoyed by other peoples’ incompetence or lack of intelligence, he necessitates a frequent reminder to himself that "fundamental decencies [are] parcelled out unequally at birth". Nevertheless, he cannot stop himself from describing other people's revelations as "plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions". By being raised in a privileged home, Nick develops a unique perspective, unlike most peoples’, on how he views others. Nick will always see himself as better than those who are less fortunate. When he returns home to the mid-west from his trip to the East he states that he "[wants] the world to be uniform", because he feels everyone else is inferior to him. He wants everyone to be as competent as he is, and he has grown weary to a world that is full of people not nearly as affluent or as competent as he is. When he says the he wants no more "ritous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart", in addition to exuding his hypocrisy, his annoyance at people sharing their personal problems with him suggests his haughtiness; he acts as if he is too worthy to be burdened by peoples’ ramblings over the hardships of their seemingly insignificant lives. Nick's arrogance radiates from these early passages.
Without a doubt, Nick's words and actions characterize him as an arrogant, hypocritical. Through his thoughts and actions, Nick’s character is developed in the minds of the readers. Peoples’ reputations are determined by how they portray themselves to others. As a result, people should be careful as to how they carry themselves in the eyes of others to prevent creating a disreputable name for them.