"He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new plague that had come to Europe...Men attacked by them become instantly furious and mad. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers"
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
Just as the men of the future described by Raskolnikov, the readers of The Great Gatsby falsely believed that they held the truth, the truth presented by Nick. Nick is a liar. Nick lies about his intellect, his relation with the rich and ultimately his own wealth. He lies to hide his crimes.
Nick lies throughout the book about his intellect. He stated in his story that "Jordan Baker instinctively avoided clever, shrewd men." He implies that he is neither clever nor shrewd since he is having a relationship with her. If he is not clever, then how did he notice Jordan's choice of men? It is a paradox that can only happen if Nick lied about his intelligence and also Jordan's personality. Nick purposely lies not only about Jordan, but also in his communication with Daisy. "It was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose." commented Nick when Daisy complimented that he was like a rose. This reaction is not how normal people would have reacted. A regular human will pay barley any attention to this fact since they would have known it is superficial. If they will comment, a regular human will have given back a compliment or thank them, not deny it immediately twice as if it is a poisonous thought. the only reason that Nick did not act as expected is because he wants to make note of the point that he is different in intelligence. Since Nick took the point seriously, he must have been less intellectually advanced, but since he made a point to state twice, it implies that he is actually intelligent and wanting others to view him as a idiot.
Nick also purposely lie about his "unwillingness" in joining the activities of the rich. He reacts throughout the book too meekly, too passive to be a true victim. Nick wants to be a part of the rich. Nick lies that he "had no desire to meet her" since he did not even protest when Tom decided that Nick should meet his mistress. A person who has a real desire to not participate in a activity, they would continuously find excuses to try and evade the act. The fact that Nick did not protest tells us that he actually wanted to participate in activities with Tom.
Nick also willingly falsely imply that he was poor and not a person of Old Stock. During a time when the poor only interacted with the poor and the rich interacted with only the rich, Nick still interacts with the super rich Tom and Gatsby. This suggest that Nick is actually a man with money. Another reason that leads people to the conclusion that Nick is not as poor as he implies is since he lives in the same area as the rich. This was at a time where cities often had a rich section, poor section and middle-class section. By being neighbor to the rich Gatsby, Nick is proven to be rich. Nick is also not the ordinary man he implies he is. Nick is a man of old money. Nick comes from a family that was said to be " well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations" with an apparent descendant "from the Dukes of Buccleuch." Nicks family has been rich for three generations and thus he was old money, a fact that was further implied from him attending Yale, a school where only the upper-class can afford.
People have pointed out that Nick had stated in his narrative that he lived in a "weather-beaten cardboard bungalow". But this is a lie since later in the narrative, Nick states that while in his house "Daisy went up stairs to wash her face." The fact that there is an upstairs bathroom goes entirely against the definition of a bungalow. A bungalow is a small cardboard one level house with at most a second level as an attic. Another fact to be considered that disproves Nick's statement about his "cardboard bungalow" Nick could not have lived in an unattractive house sine Gatsby chose Nick's house as the meeting place between him and Daisy. If Nick's house was truly repulsive, then he would have chosen somewhere else. Since he did not, Nicks house was apparently rich enough for Gatsby's standard and not an eye sore
Nick is not "one of the few honest people" in the world since he lies throughout his narrative.
Nick did not flee the east because he was disillusioned about the American Dream,
Nick left because he had "smashed up things and creatures"
Nick left to retreat back into his wealth in the west.