The main character, Nick, was greatly influenced by what his father told him in how to treat people. He tries to be tolerant and unbiased towards other people and to find out about their backgrounds first (line 7). But through that, he became a “victim of not a few veteran bores” (line 8), people who think he listens to them even though their stories do not interest him. Also, the people in college accused him of being a politician” (line 10 f.). A politician tries to be nice to everybody and never takes sides, so people trust him and tell him secrets, that he could use against him. Therefore, he tried to get out of his position, where everybody trusted him, by pretending that he was asleep or being lost in thoughts (line12).
Nick realised that the stories he got told by the “young men” (line 14) were repeating itself. This was, because the men suppressed their real feelings and copied the thoughts of others.
As we heard last lesson, Nick is tolerant and tries to be unbiased to everybody. Through having a good education at Yale University, one of the Ivy League Schools, he has many advantages. But his tolerance has a limit”(5,21) at the bores of the other people and at Gatsby. Although Gatsby “represents everything for which Nick has an unaffected scorn” (6,4f.), Nick is interested in his life. In his eyes a person who does not tell his secrets to anyone must have a reason why he hides them. As he does not know Gatsby’s secrets he assumes these to be dark secrets which can be interpreted as criminal background. On the other hand Nick likes and admires Gatsby. Furthermore Nick is the only person who realises there is something special about Gatsby. But Nick does not know yet how to find out about Gatsby’s life. Nick sees Gatsby as an intelligent and flexible person who when he gets a chance to do something, grabs it. In Gatsby’s case, though, the narrator totally contradicts himself. Nick says about Gatsby that he has an “extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any person and which is not likely I shall ever find again” (6,10f.). Trying to be unbiased at first, he now talks about Gatsby being a unique and special person and does not “reserve all judgements” (5,7).
by Susanne Freund, Lena Runkist, Kathy Barske and Leonard Michl