Monday, September 13, 2021

"Inclined to reserve all judgments": Nick Carraway as novelist in "The Great Gatsby"

At the beginning of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" (1925), the narrator Nick Carraway reports advice his father gave him: "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, [...] just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had." Carraway claims that this has had an effect on his character: "I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me [...]" In "reserving judgment", Carraway takes up the position of a novelist, whose suspension of judgment makes the exploration of both "curious" and conventional "natures" possible – and both those with "advantages" and those, like Jay Gatsby, without them. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 13 September 2021)


Original cover by Francis Cugat

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