Great Gatsby Characters Description In the book, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, certain characters developed so that they contradict another character personality traits. This setup allows the characteristics of these two characters to be greatly notice by the readers. In this case, the development of Nick and Gatsby are a contradiction of each other: on one hand there is Nick who develops greatly through the story and on the other hand there is Gatsby, a man caught up in the corruptions of his own life. Lets study these two different characters.
Unlike Nick, Gatsby does not develop in the course of the story. He cannot because his whole life is devoted to the fulfillment of a romantic dream that he created a long time ago. He is still caught in an adolescent faith, which is the only thing that will keep this dream alive in him. His personal vision is based on the illusory belief that time can be “fixed” and the past can be recreated. “Cant repeat the past? He cried incredulously.
Of course you can.” ( ) He is content with the thought that things will change to the way that he wishes them to be. He is caught up in a romantic vision of him and Daisy and by doing this is keeping himself from moving forward and progressing as an individual. Because of this, throughout the entire story he holds onto the same ideas that he can do and get anything he wants because he has money, and to him that equals power. Nick Carraway on the other hand develops very thoroughly in the story. The story, although narrated by Nick about Gatsbys life, is also a story of Nicks own development in the story. In the beginning Nick is already a sophisticated observer of characters but reserves his personal judgement, remaining uninvolved in the sense that he is not willing to act upon what he feels are the faults of the other individuals around him. Some example is when he realizes Jordan baker is a liar and that this a defect held in her personality.
“She was incurably dishonest.” (63) Another time is when he truly discovers s the irresponsibility of Tom and Daisy. At the point that he draws all these conclusions about the characters he is still willing to tolerate the defects of these individuals. The turning point of his development occurs when he sees the reactions of Jordan and the Buchanans to Myrtle Wilsons death. At this time, nick finally stands back and develops a full sense of moral responsibility. He realizes that he can no longer tolerate the moral vacancy that lies beneath the wealth and sophistication of eastern society, and so in the end returns to the west, after carefully fulfilling his personal responsibilities. “Retreated back into their money or vast carelessness..and let other people clean the mess they had made..”(188) At the books end we see that Nick has finally become a man and has developed to realize that wealth is not a substitute to moral responsibility.
Another point where we can notice the maturation of Nick is during his critiquing of Gatsbys life. As Gatsby sees it all as dream that will be fulfilled Nick begins to notice and become aware of the certain flaws that this dream holds. Studying Gatsby and the way he runs his life, Nick becomes aware of the fact that an ideal based on materialism alone is a corruption rather than a fulfillment. Nick also develops as he studies the better aspects of Gatsbys life as well. He discovers that although he is stuck in a fantasy world of corrupt dreams that it is better than being motivated by complete selfishness like everyone else.
He sees towards the end of the book that Gatsby is a man just trying to create a dream he once while the others are filled with corruption and deception of the others. Nick also develops when it comes to the idea with his relationship with Jordan baker. Nick could have easily let the relationship take care of itself before he left but he insisted on terminating it, even though he still feels very strong for her. He believes that before he leaves needs to “leave things in order” and doing this takes a lot of maturity and responsibility So in the end it is seen how these two characters contrast each other. One is a developing young man learning through life and figuring out what he wants to become and the other is a man whos life was thrown away on a corrupted dream of greed and wealth.
These two characters have a contradiction that makes the story into of the greatest stories of this century.