What does Gatsby tell Nick is the source of his fortune?F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ironically, Nick Carraway narrates that the many who accepted Gatsby's hospitality "paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him."  For, Gatsby has manufactured an illusion about himself that depends upon no one knowing nothing of him.

On the morning that Gatsby pulls into Nick's driveway, Nick remarks that Gatsby, in fact, "had little to say."  So, when Gatsby launches into his biographical history, Nick is rather taken aback on their "disconcerting ride" as he feels that hearing Gatsby's story is rather like skimming quickly through several magazines.  And, that Gatsby lacks credibility is evident in his remark that his family, who all are deceased (conveniently for Gatsby), left him "a good deal of money."  Furthering his lack of credibility, Gatsby tells Nick that they were from the "middle-west"; however, when Nick asks, "What part of the middle-west?" Gatsby responds "San Francisco."

chughes412's profile pic

chughes412 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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In Chapter 4, Gatsby tells Nick that his (Gatsby's) parents were wealthy mid-westerners and that he inherited his fortune from them. Nick questions Gatsby's story of his past, especially after meeting Meyer Wolfshiem later in that same chapter.

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