Who is Klipspringer?
In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is a mysterious figure who lives in a beautiful mansion on the Long Island shore and has a mysteriously acquired fortune. He entertains frequently and lavishly, with big parties that go on seemingly all night. People love to attend Gatsby’s parties.
Most of the guests come uninvited. When Nick Carraway, the narrator, first attends one of Gatsby’s parties, he remarks on the fact that he is one of the only guests who actually received an invitation. He says,
I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited—they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island and somehow they ended up at Gatsby’s door I had been actually invited.
Gatsby often knows almost no one at his own parties. He is open-handed and generous, telling Nick, “If you want anything just ask for it, old sport.” Many times, his guests do not even bother to seek him out to thank him for his hospitality: "Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all..."
Klipspringer also enjoys Gatsby’s hospitality. In fact, he practically lives at Gatsby’s home. Nick writes, “A man named Klipspringer was there so often and so long that he became known as ‘the boarder’—I doubt if he had any other home.” Klipspringer is so ensconced at the house that he apparently has his own room there. The author writes,
“I know what we’ll do," said Gatsby, “we’ll have Klipspringer play the piano.”…
"Did we interrupt your exercises?" inquired Daisy politely.
"I was asleep," cried Mr. Klipspringer, in a spasm of embarrassment.
Klipspringer represents the typical Gatsby acquaintance who takes advantage of Gatsby’s generosity but then turns their back on him. Like most people who were happy to come to Gatsby’s when he was alive and the wine was flowing, Klipspringer disappears after his death. Klipspringer does not attend Gatsby’s funeral. Nick waits for people to gather to pay their last respects to Gatsby, “[b]ut it wasn’t any use. Nobody came.”
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