What do Wolfsheim's cufflinks reveal about him in The Great Gatsby?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is a very interesting detail that Fitzgerald gives us about Wolfsheim. Note how the fact that Wolfsheim has human molars, which, in his words, are the "finest specimens of human molars," add a sinister note to his character that has already been established by his obvious involvement in the gangster society of America and the corruption of such institutions such as the World Series. In addition, the fact that they are human teeth adds overtones of perhaps cannibalism or death to his character. He is clearly someone that does not mind getting his hands dirty to achieve his goals, and represents a corrupting force that taints even the supposed purity of Gatbsy and his ideals and dreams. This of course is one of many hints that are given in the book about the corruption and illegal activities that lie behind the charismatic and idealistic face of Gatbsy.

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