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Nick Carraway In Great Gatsby Essay

NICK CARRAWAY has a special place in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is not just one character among several; it is through his eyes and ears that the story takes place. In this novel, Nick goes to some length to establish his credibility, indeed his moral integrity, in telling this story about this "great" man called Gatsby. He begins with a reflection on his own upbringing, quoting his father's words about Nick's "advantages,” which we could assume were material but, he soon makes clear, were spiritual or moral advantages.

Nick wants his reader to know that his upbringing gave him the moral fiber with which to withstand and pass judgment on an amoral world, such as the one he had observed the previous summer. He says, rather pompously, 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 a limit.” This is the first sign the narrator gives the reader to show he will give an even-handed insight to the story that is about to unfold. Later the reader learns he neither reserves all judgments nor does his tolerance reach its limit. Nick is very partial in his way of telling the story about several characters.

He admits early into the story that he makes an exception of judging Gatsby, for whom he is prepared to suspend both the moral code of his upbringing and the limit of intolerance, because Gatsby had an "extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness.” This inspired him to a level of friendship and loyalty that Nick seems unprepared to extend towards others in the novel. Nick overlooks the moral implications of Gatsby's bootlegging, his association with speakeasies, and with Meyer Wolfsheim, the man rumored to have fixed the World Series in 1919. Yet, he is contemptuous of Jordan Baker for cheating in a mere golf game. While he says that he is prepared to forgive this sort of behavior in a woman: "It made no difference to me. Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame too deeply - I was casually sorry, and then I forgot," it seems that he cannot accept her for being "incurably dishonest" and then reflects that his one "cardinal virtue" is that he is "one of the few honest people" he has ever known. When it comes to judging women - or perhaps only potential lovers - not only are they judged, they are judged by how well they stand up to his own virtues.

Nick leaves the Midwest after he returns from the war, restless and at odds with the traditional, conservative values that, from his account, haven't changed in spite of the tumult of the war. It is this insularity from a changed world no longer structured by the values that had sent young men to war, that decides him to go East, to New York, and learn about bonds. After one summer out East, a remarkable summer for this morally advantaged young man, he "decided to come back home"...

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The Dissertation consists of three chapters. The first chapter is about bankruptcy. I set up a heterogeneous agents model to analyze the effect of bankruptcy on the credit market, entrepreneurship, growth and social welfare. First, lenient bankruptcy (e.g. small bankruptcy cost, less financial restriction for bankruptcy filers) decreases credit supply by increasing financial intermediaries' loss. This results in the rise of the market interest rate. Second, lenient bankruptcy has a positive effect on entrepreneurship in general. It enhances the incentive for individuals to establish firms and easily shut down their firms. Therefore the share of entrepreneurs can be either smaller or larger since it is affected by these entry and exit rates. Third, lenient bankruptcy promotes productivity and economic growth. Less financial restriction for bankruptcy filers gives more opportunity of re-entering business to agents who failed in the past but have high entrepreneurial ability now. The small bankruptcy cost encourages low productivity entrepreneurs to exit business and therefore enhances overall productivity of an economy. Fourth, the lenient bankruptcy increases overall social welfare. Even though the lenient bankruptcy reduces credit supply by increasing the capital loss of financial intermediaries, it gives more consumption insurance to risk averse agents by allowing high exemption of asset holdings at bankruptcy as well as gives them more opportunity to restart their business. I provide empirical evidence to support the theoretical results of this paper.The second chapter is about non-regular employments. Dualism in the labor market is a huge challenge for many advanced countries in terms of economic efficiency as well as inequality. In this paper, I empirically analyze the reason why people become non-regular workers and why firms would like to hire non-regular workers by using micro level data. Drawing on the results of the empirical studies, I set up a heterogeneous agents model to analyze the effects of prevailing government policy that enhances the labor market flexibility by relaxing the regulation on the non-regular labor market. Especially I analyze the effects of the labor market reformation in Korea, which further deregulates the non-regular labor market.Even though this policy has some gains in economic efficiency (e.g. output, total employments), it not only has adverse effects on job security by increasing the proportion of non-regular workers but also expands the wage gap between the two groups, regular and non-regular workers. The quantitative analysis shows that the model suggested in this paper can well explain the data of Korea.For future policy options, I evaluate three relevant policies: (1) continuing the existing policy by relaxing the regulation on the non-regular labor market alone; (2) decreasing the adjustment cost in both labor markets simultaneously; and (3) decreasing the adjustment cost in both labor markets while maintaining severance payments. This paper finds that the second policy choice generally attains better outcome in economic efficiency, but it has side effects of increasing wage polarization between two labor groups and hurts overall social welfare as well. On the other hand, the third policy choice achieves the highest social welfare by giving proper consumption insurance even though it sacrifices some gains from economic efficiency. Adequate policies including training and job search programs for non-regular workers as well as fixing income distribution should be considered.The third chapter is about severance payment. A severance payment is a payment that employers give to workers who leave firms. It has different meanings. From the employer's point of view, it is a firing cost, as in Hopenhayn and Rogerson (1993). However, from the worker's point of view, it is an insurance in response to risk of unemployment as in Alvarez and Veracierto (2001). I'll add a finance role of severance payments to the firing cost and insurance roles. In order to analyze the three roles of the severance payment, I set up a heterogeneous agents model with an incomplete financial market. The incompleteness has two meanings in this paper. First. like Alvarez and Veracierto (2001), agents do not have enough instruments to smooth consumption. Hence, the severance payment has a role of insurance for the risk of unemployment. Second, unlike Alvarez and Veracierto (2001), agents face an imperfect capital market with collateral constraints. In this sense, the severance payment can be seed money to start a business. Then I address important questions related to the effects of severance payment on economic efficiency and social welfare.

Committee Members

Gaetano Antinolfi, Costas Azariadis, Werner Ploberger, David Wiczer,

Recommended Citation

Kim, Kwang Il, "Essay on Macroeconomics" (2017). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1119.

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