The Great Gatsby Socratic Seminar
1. Fitzgerald’s use of Nick as a narrator provides a middle ground in between the two prominent social groups of old and new money. He is from a family that is “prominent, well-to-do people… for three generations [back]” (Fitzgerald 7). He can trace his relatives’ implied wealth back, but not to the extent someone like Daisy or Tom can, excluding him being labeled as “old money.” However, Nick is not considered new money either, because he does not have the riches of those like Gatsby. He is working to make his own fortune, but during his time knowing Gatsby, he does not fit into either social class. His personal relations with people in both classes and the differing ways he interacts with them serves to contrast the two. He treats Gatsby with more respect than he does Tom or Daisy; this is partially due to the fact Gatsby has, in Nick’s opinion, earned his fortune.
2.…show more content… There is no rigidly defined villain or hero in The Great Gatsby. Each character exhibits positive and negative traits that make it impossible to title them as either. Gatsby retains his love for Daisy, but it verges on an unhealthy obsession. Daisy returns Gatsby’s love, but only after he gets enough money to please her and she is already married to someone else. Tom cheats on Daisy, but cares about her and is victimized himself when his mistress is killed. After Myrtle dies, Tom tells Nick that seeing something that reminds him of her made him “cr[y] like a baby” (Fitzgerald 187). The opposing traits in everyone are true to life, because there is a mix of good in bad in everyone: no one is completely on either end of the spectrum. This makes The Great Gatsby a better book, as the characters are more realistic and the plot more complicated. It makes you reflect on what you define people as in terms of their morals and actions by making the true nature of each character