In The Great Gatsby, what does Gatsby's association with Wolfsheim say about Gatsby?  

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jking22 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The appearance of Meyer Wolfsheim in chapter 4 of The Great Gatsby, leads the reader to believe that Gatsby may not have obtained his wealth in a legal manner. This can be inferred from the interaction between Wolfsheim, Nick, and Gatsby while meeting for lunch. Upon first being introduced to the reader, Wolfsheim tells a story of a mobster friend who was killed in a nearby restaurant. Following this story, he is introduced to Nick Carraway. During this exchange, Wolfsheim says to Nick "I understand you're looking for a business gonntion (meaning connection)" (Fitzgerald p70), to which Gatsby quickly replies "this isn't the man" (Fitzgerald p71). This interaction suggests that Gatsby has a history of having a business connection to Wolfsheim in the past. Later in the chapter, Nick asks Gatsby who Wofsheim is after he excuses himself from lunch, to which Gatsby replies "he's a gambler", who "fixed the World's Series back in 1919." (Fitzgerald p73). This revelation shows that Gatsby is friends, and does business, with people who are involved in the criminal underworld, and suggests that Gatsby may have done the same to acquire his fortune. This disclosure plays into the larger theme of the novel, corruption of the american dream.

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The Great Gatsby

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