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Could you please tell me the literal meaning of "concerned in it somewhere" in the...

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coutelle | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM via web

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Could you please tell me the literal meaning of "concerned in it somewhere" in the following excerpt from The Great Gatsby, chapter Two?

The airedale—undoubtedly there was an airedale concerned in it somewhere though its feet were startlingly white—changed hands and settled down into Mrs. Wilson’s lap where she fondled the weather-proof coat with rapture.

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted April 21, 2013 at 9:09 PM (Answer #1)

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In The Great Gatsby, Myrtle desires a dog. A man was selling dogs, and Myrtle asked Tom could she have one. The man selling the dogs claimed that the dog was Airedale. Tom knew it was not a purebred Airedale but because Myrtle desired to have it, Tom agreed to purchase it for her. 

A purebred Airedale is owned by well-to-do hunters. This dog that Tom bought for Myrtle was not a purebred Airedale. Its feet were "startlingly white." A purebred Airedale is brown and black. Still, the narrator in this story is stating that there was no doubt about the dog being partly an Airedale, but the dogs white feet indicated that it is not a full fledged Airedale. The following quote indicates that the dog is partly Airedale,  in the dog somewhere:   

The Airedale-undoubtedly there was an Airedale concerned in it somewhere, though its feet were startlingly white-changed hands and settled down into Mrs. Wilson's lap, where she fondled the weather-proof coat with rapture .

The fascinating fact is that Myrtle fondled the dog with rapture. Myrtle has no prejudices when it comes to the dog. She is in rapture  even though the dog is not a pure breed of dog. 

Since Myrtle is not a wealthy, arrogant person like Tom, she was satisfied to have the dog, even though it was not a pure breed. Tom seemed exasperated when buying the dog. Although he tries to please Myrtle by buying the dog, he is clearly not happy with the purchase. No doubt, he is just pacifying Myrtle:

Myrtle clearly aspires to a life of wealth with Tom, who humors her with gifts: a puppy, clothes, and various personal items.

He takes no pride in buying a dog that has "an Airedale concerned in it somewhere." In other words, Tom realizes that there is somewhat of an Airedale "somewhere" in the dog, but it is not a purebred Airedale. Therefore, Tom is not so pleased with the purchase. Myrtle, on the other hand, does not notice the difference in a pure breed and a mixed bred dog. This fact proves the Tom and Myrtle come from two different worlds.         

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