How Does The Narrator Describe Gatsby?

Updated 30 September, 2023
The narrator of the novel, Nick Carraway, describes Gatsby's personality as 'gorgeous'. Despite the fact that Gatsby represents all that Nick holds in contempt, Nick cannot help but admire him.
Detailed answer:

In the first chapters of the novel, Nick establishes a center of attention towards Gatsby as he names the book after him, saying that there was something gorgeous about him and that “he represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn'. Nick’s initial ambiguous description of Gatsby’s romantic readiness and extraordinary gift for hope added a taste of enthusiasm that encouraged the reader to dig deeper in the novel and learn more about this so-called character named Gatsby. Nick first sees him - after returning from dinner at Daisy’s house - standing by the waterside, stretching his arms toward the darkness, trembling, “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling.” This gesture seemed to carry deep emotional significance to Gatsby as he was trembling from emotions that only he knew at the moment.
Nick receives an invitation from Gatsby to one of his extravagant parties unlike everyone else who showed up with no previous notice. He meets Gatsby while sitting on a table with Jordan and describes him as a man about his age with an unusual warm smile, “It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.” He goes on to describe him as friendly and exceptionally understanding who doesn’t drink and keeps himself separated from the party.
To conclude, despite the fact that Gatsby represents all that Nick holds in contempt, Nick cannot help but admire him. In chapter one Nick describes Gatsby as a hopeful romantic and someone whose entire personality is simply a response to social cues and a desperate attempt to have others recognize his worth. In Chapter VI, when Nick finally describes Gatsby’s early history, he uses this striking comparison between Gatsby and Jesus Christ to illuminate Gatsby’s creation of his own identity.

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