Nick's role as observer and participant.
In the novel "The Great Gatsby", Nick is a narrator but also an active participant in the story. As narrator-observer, he recounts an action of which he is merely an observer. As narrator-participant, Nick participates directly in the action but is not the main character. Nick relates and at the same time participates in the story. .
Most of the time, Nick portrays himself as the observer. In his introduction to the novel, Nick states, "I'm inclined to reserve judgments" about people and he seems to accomplish this. "Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchannan broke Myrtle's nose with his opeh hand".(pg. 41) Nick does not comment on the situation, instead he chooses to remove himself by leaving. In this passage, he's acting as an outsider rather than insider. .
Nick is also a narrator-observer when he lets Jordan in her words tell us what happened on the day of Daisy's wedding. "We gave her spirits of ammonia and put ice on her forehead and hooked her back into her dress and half an hour later when we walked out of the room the pearls were around her neck and the incident was over".(pg.81) Nick does not comment on the story, because he himself was not present during the event. Another exemple is when Gatsby tells him about the first time he kissed Daisy. "So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the turning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete".(pg. 117) Nick just restates what he has been told by Gatsby earlier. .
In some parts of the novel, Nick is an active participant. Even though Nick doesn't approve of Gatsby's life, he made all the arrangements for his funeral. "At first I was surprised and confused: then as he lay in his house and didn't move or breathe or speak hour upon hour it grew upon me that I was responsible, because no one else was interested.