In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, The Great Gatsby, the short-lived character of Ewing Klipspringer plays a large role in representing a major theme of the novel: the hollowness of the upper class. Though Klipspringer only briefly appears during the story, his character is an important symbol for the way wealth and the upper class is perceived in the novel. While he may seem like an unimportant character due to his blunt appearance in the novel, he plays a significant part in representing the greedy and materialistic mentality of the upper class.
We are introduced to Klipspringer in chapter five of The Great Gatsby, being described as a “slightly worn young man, with shell-rimmed glasses and scanty blonde hair.” Klipspringer is a frequent guest at the Gatsby mansion, playing the piano for Mr. Gatsby and staying at the mansion as he pleases. The way he is described in the novel assumes he has a somewhat innocent demeanor, where he is “decently clothed” and seems awkward and embarrassed when Gatsby asks him to play the piano; however, he proves to have the opposite disposition. He is otherwise recognized as a freeloader, as he uses Gatsby for his enormous wealth; and he has no sympathy or gratitude for Gatsby, proven by his absence at Gatsby’s funeral. In several ways, Klipspringer’s greed and selfishness reflects the entire society of the upper class. They take advantage of Gatsby’s prosperity and parties; yet they have no feelings towards him. Like the rest of Gatsby’s hundreds of guests, Klipspringer fails to attend Gatsby’s funeral at the end of the novel. Klipspringer furthermore goes to call Nick during Gatsby’s funeral to retrieve a pair of his tennis shoes, rather than calling to send any condolences. Klipspringer’s lack of compassion and sympathy speaks for Gatsby’s relationship with all of his many guests – although he serves them generously, they lack any gratitude or empathy towards him.
Though Klipspringer only appears in the novel a short...
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