The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald takes place in the 1920s, otherwise known as the Roaring 20s, or the Jazz Age. The antagonist, Nick Carroway, moves next to Jay Gatsby, a wealthy “old money” class man. Nick moved to West Eggs, a middle-upper class town bordering East Egg. Nick and Gatsby are frequent partygoers, especially to Gatsby’s owned parties. The basic premise is that Gatsby is after Daisy, Nick’s cousin. In this novel, Fitzgerald portrays the new money class as having a bad reputation.

Wolfsheim is an example of this, as he is shown as having a bad reputation through his past affiliations, particularly with the Black Sox Scandal. In 1919, he fixed the World Series in order to make a hundred of money of himself. This is the first sign of Gatsby’s unsavory past, dealing with the illegal means of which he obtained his wealth. Fitzgerald first shows Wolfsheim’s callousness for others when he claims that as Wolfsheim “[Forgets] the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, [he begins] to eat with ferocious delicacy” (Fitzgerald, 75). Soon after meeting him, Nick Carroway shows his consciousness of Wolfsheim’s cavalier personality when he reflects, “It never occurred to [him] that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people—with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing the safe” (78). Later, Wolfsheim addresses that he cannot attend Gatsby’s funeral, for being “Tied up in some very important business and [not being able to] get mixed up in this thing” (174). This quote shows Wolfsheim’s apathy towards his close friend, and that he would prefer to put his own personal affairs before the funeral of Gatsby, whom he has known for many years. Overall, Wolfsheim is an arrogant embodiment of the “new money” class in the novel.

The rumors of Gatsby’s bootlegging show his bad reputation as part of the new money class among others in the novel. Jay Gatsby is a very wealthy “new money” class man who lives in West Egg in his...
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