This exercise gives students further practice with both the skills of close reading and character analysis. In The Great Gatsby, readers are introduced to Nick Carraway by Nick Carraway, and many take his words as law. Yet there are also constant inklings that Nick may not be the most neutral of narrators after all. This exercise allows students to look closely at characters in the novel as they are introduced by Nick, and examine the divide between Carraway’s version of the character and the reader’s own impression. Students will only have the text, and their analysis, to guide them. While this lesson focuses on the first three chapters of the novel, the close textual reading and character analysis urged here is, and can be, applicable to other novels and short stories. This exercise can be done either in small groups, or individually, at the instructor’s discretion.
Kind, Leah, "Nick Carraway—Narrator Extraordinaire!" (2013). The Great Gatsby Unit. 2.