In The Great Gatsby, Nick is asked by a traveller, "How do you get to West Egg village?" and then Nick writes that after that moment he felt like an original settler of West Egg.

It was lonely for a day or so until one morning some man, more recently arrived than I, stopped me on the road.

“How do you get to West Egg village?” he asked helplessly.

I told him. And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler. He had casually conferred on me the freedom of the neighbourhood.

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

(F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1.)

What is the purpose of this scene?

1 Answer 1


It shows that he is becoming habituated to the place: he is no longer a newcomer who needs directions, but an inhabitant who can give them. It inspires a poetic flight of fancy because that means a lot to him.

This is particularly important because the conclusion of the novel is when he decides this is a bad place for him to live, and to move back to the Midwest.

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