(The Great Gatsby/Chapter 5) Why does Gatsby get so many phone calls? What does this say about him? What is the one in this chapter about?This does not neccessairely have to be about chapter five,...

(The Great Gatsby/Chapter 5) Why does Gatsby get so many phone calls? What does this say about him? What is the one in this chapter about?

This does not neccessairely have to be about chapter five, but it is on a handout for Ch. 5. This could also be referring to Ch.3 as well.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One weakness of Fitzgerald's novel is that Gatsby seems to be making millions of dollars without doing very much to earn it. He seems more like a playboy than a mob overlord. Fitzgerald's editor (I believe it was Maxwell Perkins) pointed out this deficiency to Fitzgerald, suggesting that there needed to be more explanation of exactly how Gatsby had attained such power and how he was making so much money. It is pretty obvious that he is a bootlegger--but we think of bootleggers as being tough, uncouth, merciless fellows like Al Capone.

The fact is that Fitzgerald was young and really didn't know much about bootleggers or other mobsters, although he was probably fascinated by them, as a lot of other people were during Prohibition. The best Fitzgerald could come up with was a lot of telephone calls, suggesting that Gatsby was the big brains behind a nationwide bootlegging operation and was directing everything over the telephone and through his associate Wolfsheim.

 

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