What Is the Tone of “The Great Gatsby”?

The tone of “The Great Gatsby” is not consistent, but varies with the narrator’s sentiments. As narrator Nick Carraway describes memories that arouse varying emotions the tone shifts dramatically, running the gamut from euphoric to darkly cynical.

Nick views certain parts of Gatsby’s character with ambivalence while viewing others with an affection that borders on nostalgia. At different moments, Nick clearly admires and is equally clearly repulsed by Gatsby. The changing tone helps underline the manifold nature of Gatsby himself and, combined with the point of view which shifts in and out of objectivity, adds to the overall complexity of the novel.