Homework Help

Where did Jay Gatsby go to college?I know that he said he was an Oxford man. But is it...

user profile pic

ewhitney16 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Where did Jay Gatsby go to college?

I know that he said he was an Oxford man. But is it true or did he go to a small college in Minnesota? If you could can you tell me where he went, how long, and how you found this out. Thank you.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 23, 2011 at 3:16 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

In Chapter 6 of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, a young reporter from New York shows up at Gatsby's door, asking if he has anything to say. The reporter has heard rumors about him, and he has done research.  James Gatz of North Dakota changed his name at seventeen when he met his mentor, Dan Cody.

With his vision of the American Dream, Gatsby was led to the Luthern college of St. Olaf in southern Minnesota, where he stayed for two weeks because he hated the janitorial work he had to perform in order to pay his tuition.  He was still seeking his dream when he saw Dan Cody's yacht drop anchor on Lake Superior.

user profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 14, 2015 at 6:44 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

Gatsby keeps using the term "Old sport" which he claims he picked up at Oxford. He wants people to think that he is an Oxford man. His business associate Meyer Wolfshiem tells everybody, including Nick, that Gatsby is an Oggsford man. Late in the novel Tom Buchanan confronts him about his so-called Oxford background when Tom, Daisy, Nick, and Jordan Baker are spending a hot afternoon in a suite at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Gatsby tells him:

"It was in nineteen-nineteen. I only stayed five months. That's why I can't really call myself an Oxford man....It was an opportunity they gave to some of the officers after the Armistice," he continued. "We could go to any of the universities in England or France."

This appears to be the straight truth, since Tom does not question him further, and Nick writes:

I wanted to get up and slap him on the back. I had one of those renewals of complete faith in him that I'd experienced before.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes