great gatsby

there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, but towards the end of the book, the last time nick sees gatsby, he yells, “they’re a rotten crowd. you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” in the next sentence, it says, “i’ve always been glad i said that. it was the only compliment i ever gave him, because i disapproved of him from beginning to end.” why is he glad he said it then?

Even though this question reeks of a high school essay question you’re trying to get out of answering, I’d say that he (Nick) knew it would be the last time he would ever see Gatsby, and he was glad that he ended it as a gentleman. You can dislike someone but still respect them at the same time.

And dammit, you just do not disrespect Gatsby.

Well, they were a rotten crowd, and Gatsby really was better than the lot of them. Nick had come to this sad realization through the course of the book, and perhaps he was glad for having finally said it – even in the form of a compliment to Gatsby.

just to let you know, i’m not trying to get out an essay question. i’m writing a paper on the idea that gatsby’s pure motivation puts him above a common criminal, i just wanted some extra insight

To put it briefly, Nick knew that Gatsby was at heart an idealist, even if the methods of obtaining his goal were suspect and in the end self-defeating.

Regardless of Nick’s ‘disapproval,’ (which I don’t quite grasp as I haven’t read the book in years and my copy’s in another town) I’d say he felt good stating Gatsby’s superiority to the rotten lot because 1. it was true and 2. Gatsby died soon after. Mind you that Nick wrote the account after all events occurred and was reflecting on what had passed.

Frankly I don’t remember the comment mentioning his disapproval or the inherent irony in it. Perhaps if there was more than that selection to analyze it would make more sense.

This might be overly simplistic, but it was because Gatsby was his friend.

The easiest way for me to express it is, my old roommate was a Gatsby, and I was a Nick. I disapproved of practically everything he did, but there was something almost magical that made me like him and made me loyal to him to the last.