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Here it is! The Nick Carraway essay!

Here in it's entire uncut, somewhat sloppy, (ignore the grammar mistakes) edition. For the first time on LJ. I give you:

Nick Carraway is absolutaly GAY!


            The Great Gatsby is fraught with symbols and theories for curious readers to delve into and investigate. However, few have been so heatedly debated over as Nick Carraway’s sexuality. The online forums, essays, and blogs read with all the excitement and conviction as any conspiracy theory. With very little evidence and a biased modern perspective, many readers argue that Nick simply must be bi--, or even homosexual, because of his actions and his interactions with other characters. Do they have the right to make that claim? Could there perhaps be enough evidence to make an interesting scandal out of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel? I believe that there are enough clues in the text of The Great Gatsby to validate the claims about Nick’s sexuality. Specifically his attractions to Jordan Baker, his brief encounter with Mr. McKee, and his obsession with Gatsby, all point to the conclusion that Nick is a closeted homosexual.

            From the first moment Nick meets Jordan, it is apparent that he finds her attractive. He describes her as “a slender, small-breasted girls with an erect carriage which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet (Fitzgerald 15” These suggestively masculine traits could be interpreted in a few different ways, as it does become clear through the novels progress that Jordan represents the modern woman, aloof, dishonest, selfish, and satiric. She even plays golf with considerable skill. Miss Baker has very few characteristics that could be considered female in the traditional sense. A brief tryst between Jordan and Nick blossoms and fades quickly. He never pursues her in the same romantic and overwhelming style as Gatsby or George Wilson. Aside from a kiss, there is no proof that they had an intimate relationship. After a while, Nick simply loses interest with her cosmetic persona. Despite her alluring features, Nick seems incapable of keeping a serious relationship with women. As Lois Tyson points out in Mandy Kronbeck”s essay titled “Why won’t Nick and Jay just Get Together; a Queer Look at The Great Gatsby”, “He is just turning thirty, [and] has never married or been engaged… Nick fits the profile of thousands of young men who discovered their gay orientation during World War I. (Kronbeck 1)” Tyson makes an excellent point. In a time when couples still marry young, why has Nick remained a bachelor?

            If Nick and Jordan’s relationship is sub textually homosexual, then it is no wonder that the scene between Mr. McKee and Nick causes quite a stir. It is truly a bizarre and confusing passage. “Taking out my handkerchief I wiped from his cheek remains of the spot of dried lather that had worried me all afternoon. (Fitzgerald 41)” This line implies that as with Jordan, Nick pays particular attention to Mr. McKee’s “pale, feminine (34)” appearance, almost to a sort of obsessive compulsive fervor. Later Fitzgerald appears to choose his words carefully, using innuendoes such as “lever” to otherwise hide sexually charged language. This suggests that the author had some discomfort with the subject, adhering to a shred of propriety and skipping pieces of the night entirely. So that for one instant, Nick and Mr. McKee are traveling down inside an elevator, and in the next, Nick stands over a bed observing his friend, sitting up in bed clad only in underwear. This is the only time in the novel where physical romance between characters is displayed, as even the affair between Daisy and Gatsby remains behind closed doors.

            Though I personally would be content to leave it at that, it would be wrong to ignore perhaps the farthest-reaching example of Nick’s homosexuality, as it encompasses the entire novel. Is has been remarked by a great quantity of readers that they end the novel with the impression the Nick is attracted to Gatsby. Furthermore, Gatsby’s sexuality is called into question as well. Many readers clamped onto the idea that since Gatsby spent five years living with a man, Don Cody, and departed only after his death, that he must have had a relationship with Cody. This belief is amplified when Gatsby appears wearing what Nick describes as “gorgeous pink rag of a suit (162).” This is really nothing special because, at the time, pink was close to red and therefore a boy’s color. However, Nick’s thorough narrative is filled with more descriptions of Gatsby’s manners and appearance than nearly any other character. This could, I suppose, be used as proof that there are underlying feelings of more than friendship and respect between Nick and Jay.

            Whether you buy into the puzzles or favor a more sanitized recollection of The Great Gatsby, there can be no doubt that the mysteries exist, and that every day readers investigate the inviting possibilities beyond the scope of “canonized” literature. The Carraway enigma will never be fully settled. There will always be those who stick to their opinions of Nick and Gatsby, either as straight or gay. But the proof of Nick homosexuality is evidenced, not just because he stated on the first page that he “was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men… Frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation or a hostile levity when I realized… that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon. (6)” From this start, from his first interactions with the readers and fellow characters, the signs pile up. Nick Carraway is a well-written, complex character, who is discreetly and definitely homosexual.

So that's it really. Excuse the length, because I don't know how to do one of those badass 'Click-here-to-read-more' links. (Can anybody teach me?) Anywho... Tell me what you think?!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
This is actually pretty good. I agree with all the points made...I was pretty convinced myself that Nick was gay for Gatsby, though I thought that was probably the fangirl in me making mischief again. Anyways. I think it needs to be proofread, but you can fix everything, I'm sure.

The 'click here to read more' thing is called an lj-cut. Highlight the text that you want to hide, and then scroll over the buttons at the top until you find the one that says lj-cut. Hope that helps!
Mar. 7th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
Orrrr if you use HTML mode, the tags are (lj-cut text="what you want the cut text to say")ALL THE STUFF THAT GOES UNDER THE CUT(/lj-cut) but with < and > instead of parentheses.

ANYWAYS. I really really like this. There are a lot of good points made, and I think you could definitely expand upon all of them if you wanted to.
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
OMG I know...
I actually left my proofread copy of the essay in Vanni's room after exit 51. At least I hope I did and not somewhere else. I have to turn in a fixed version and all the comments from my teacher are on that one. *facepalm*
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )