The novel covers Nick Carroways military service during WWI, along with post-war events. Also featured is a brief romance in Paris, one doomed from the very start.
Nick contains examples of:
- Body Horror: Nick eventually realizes that one of the Germans in No Mans Land is missing part of his skull.
- Flashback: Several occur throughout the book. Some feature brief glimpses to the present, while others take up a whole chapter.
- Foregone Conclusion: Since Nick goes on to serve as The Great Gatsbys narrator, it is safe to say he survives this book.
- Mood Whiplash: Two dazed German soldiers start dancing in No Mans Land, to the delight of Nicks battalion. Eventually, however, one of them dies from his injuries and the Americans shoot the other one.
- War Is Hell: Nicks service during WWI is not portrayed pleasantly. At any moment, someone could be shelled, bayoneted, or shot. Even the moments where Nicks battalion isnt fighting seem more somber and tense than happy.