In looking at the opening two paragraphs of chapter two of The Great Gatsby, readers are able to view the connections between the social culture and the economic culture during the time in which the novel is set. The novel as a whole also comments on the careless festivity and moral decline of this period. The character that best helps to incorporate this theme into the plot is Nick Carraway. The year in which the novel is set is the summer of 1922. The narrator of the story, Nick Carraway, is first introduced to readers.
He is seen as the judge for what is right and wrong. He holds himself in higher esteem than the other characters. He goes to some length to establish his credibility, indeed his moral integrity, in telling the story about this “great” man called Gatsby. He begins with the reflection on his own upbringing, quoting his father’s words about Nick’s “advantages”, which the reader could assume to be material but, he soon makes clear, are spiritual or moral advantages.
He wants the readers too know that his upbringing gives him moral fiber with which to withstand and pass judgment on an amoral world. He says that as a consequence of such an upbringing, he is “inclined to reserve all judgments” about other people, but then goes on to say that such “tolerance…has it limits. ” He also suggests this with the manner in which he talks about all the rich characters in the story. The immoral people have all the money. Of course looking over all this like the eyes of God, are those of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg on the billboard.