Characters – The Great Gatsby Exploration Task

Nick – Nick has a large role in this novel, not necessarily physically but he narrates the whole book, throughout it, it is obvious to the reader that his opinions of the subject matters change non-stop. In the beginning, he talks about how he would be non-judgemental “reserve all judgments” and not criticize the other characters but as the story proceeds, it becomes clear that this promise is harder for him to keep than it first seems to be. This allows us to easily be aware of how he changes. A person that his opinion on changes drastically is his cousin Daisy. When Nick first moves to Long Island, he was happy to live so close to people that he knew but by the end of the book, Nick thought of the Buchanans as heartless people who would do anything for high status and spotless reputation. Overall, Nick’s personality didn’t change much at all but his opinions of people did.

Illusion – the only illusion that Nick creates is a short term one when he got caught up in the other characters problems. This is represented when he talks about feeling enchanted and repelled by their way of life, Nick is intrigued by what is happening and goes along with it which leads him to feel as if he is part of their lives and status when in reality he is much below them in status. I think that he realises what he has been doing in relation to being carried along by his illusion when Gatsby, the Buchanans, Jordan and him are in New York having the argument and he realises that it was his birthday. I think that this made him realise the depth of the other characters problems that he was buried in. From then on he became less involved with their lives i.e, he and Jordan ended things, Gatsby died and the Buchanans moved away. When he realised that he was preoccupied by their lives I think that he also became aware that he didn’t enjoy it as much as it seemed but he was going with the flow (the reason for the happenings above).


Gatsby – I don’t think that Gatsby changed much at all in the novel apart from the fact that before Nick, his hope of Daisy finding him was more distant, and, at one point he was alive, the next he was dead. Otherwise, the character of Gatsby stays reasonably the same throughout, from start to finish he held onto the hope of being with Daisy, no matter how small, it was the thing that kept Gatsby going. It almost seemed as though Gatsby died just as his hope should have when Daisy didn’t call.

His illusion – Fitzgerald definitely presented us with an illusion of Gatsby in this book. Throughout the novel, we as the readers were constantly finding out details about him that he had concealed when we first met Gatsby’s character – this kept the book exiting and made our opinion of this him change many times. Gatsby housed the idea of illusion from when he was a teenager, when he left his home in pursuit of a better future and the “american dream” from there onwards, he had felt the need to conceal his past and create the illusion to us and his fellow characters that he was from an entirely different background. As stated in the book, it started when Gatsby came across the drunk Dan Cody on his yacht and from then on is where we heard his stories of Gatsby coming from a rich family and all of the other extravagant possible activities of his past that his party goers come up with (it’s also where Gatsby gets his “old sport” saying). It’s because they don’t know who he truly is and what his intentions truly were. Gatsby puts on this false identity for the purpose of making a life for himself but he realises that once he created it and built a new life for him around it, there would be no way for him to go back to what he was.


Daisy – Daisy’s personality came across as carefree and leisurely when we first meet her, we realise that this was just a false identity she made for herself to appear that way when she really was a sad and almost depressed person, this is shown in her eyes as stated from the novel. Comparing this to the end of the book where she and Tom pack up and leave when Gatsby dies just like they did in Chicago when things weren’t going their way, she can be seen as a rose, although the first glimpse of her may seem beautiful, when you look more closely and peel away the layers, you reveal the thorns and faults.

Illusion – Daisy’s illusion is when she tells herself that she still loves Tom by in reality she knows that him cheating on her has really hurt her and that they as a couple can never go back to the way they were when they first met. And she knows this but refuses to accept it. When she tells nick that she hopes for her daughter to grow up to be a fool, she says this because she can see what the world and people in it really are. And she doesn’t want this for her daughter so, from her experiences, she is trying to create an illusion for her daughter so she doesn’t need to have those same experiences.


One Reply to “Characters – The Great Gatsby Exploration Task”

  1. Hey Phoebe,

    I would like to see you provide some more quotations to support some of your observations.

    While I agree with you about Gatsby’s personality, I think our perception of him changes. Do you think we judge him differently at the end of the book than we did at the beginning? Why/why not?

    Mrs. P

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