In The Great Gatsby (chapter 9) How does Wolfsheim remember Gatsby?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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At the funeral, rather than Mr. Gatz, who can speak of nothing but his his son's talent for acquiring wealth, it is Meyer Wolfscheim who provides Nick with some history of Jay Gatsby.  He recalls when he first met Jay Gatsby as a well-decorated major in the army after the war.  Gatsby had come into Winebrenner's poolroom at Forty-third Street in New York in order to find a job.  Realizing that he was hungry, Wolfscheim offered him a meal,

"He ate more than four dollars' worth of food in half an hour." 

When Nick asks Wolfscheim if he helped Gatsby in business, Wolfscheim replies, "Start him!  I made him."  Wolfscheim saw that Gatsby was handsome and well-groomed, so he made him a "fine appearing gentlemanly young man," knowing that he good "use him good."  Wolfscheim claims that he and Gatsby were very close.  However, as a gangster, he is afraid to attend Gatsby's funeral.  He tells Nick that he believes in showing friendship when a man is alive and not after he dies.


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