The Great Gatsby

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Chapter Four

Focus of the Day: Meyer Wolfsheim

Quotes Describing Meyer Wolfsheim:

-"A small, flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered his tiny eyes in the half-darkness." (pg.69)
-"A succulent hash arrived, and Mr. Wolfsheim, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy. His eyes, meanwhile, roved very slowly all around the room-he completed the arc by turning to inspect the people directly behind. I think that, except for my presence, he would have taken one short glance beneath our table." (pg.71)

The Good and Bad Qualities:

Meyer Wolfsheim is a sly, mysterious man that Nick is introduced to by Gatsby at lunch one afternoon. He discovers that Mr. Wolfsheim fixed the World's Series in 1919 and that he is a serious gambler. His proud and arrogant manner suggests that he himself is not an honest man, and his profession as a gambler is evidence toward his dishonesty. He does, on the other hand, have great respect for Gatsby.

Role of Meyer Wolfsheim:

In the city, Gatsby takes Nick to lunch and introduces him to Meyer Wolfshiem, who, he claims, was responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series. Wolfshiem is a shady character with underground business connections. He gives Nick the impression that the source of Gatsby’s wealth might be unsavory, and that Gatsby may even have ties to the sort of organized crime with which Wolfshiem is associated. He tries to worsen Nick's opinion of Gatsby buy suggesting that Gatsby acquired his fortune in a dishonet way.

Significant Quotes:

-"This quality was continually breaking through his punctilious manner in the shape of restlssness. He was never quite still; there was a always a tapping foot somewhere or the impatient opening and closing of a hand." (pg.64)

Here the reader is introduced to another side of Gatsby: the nervous, mysterious part of his personality. It suggests that something in his life is constantly bothering or troubling him. Later in the chapter, the audience is introduced to the details of Gatsby's past and his relationship with Daisy Buchanan. It can be assumed that he was nervous while explaining his background to Nick because he was trying to avoid mentioning Dasiy, who is Nick's cousin.

Symbols:

-The color white: "Taking a white card from his wallet, he waved it before the man's eyes." (pg.68)
-"'When I came opposite her house that morning her white roadster was behind the curb...'" (pg.74)

Another symbol is represented by the color white in chapter four: the idea of freedom. When Mr. Gastby held up the white card to the police officer, the officer apoligized for interrupting and allowed Mr. Gatsby to proceed without any questioning. Also, Dasiy's car is white, representing her ability to flee or go wherever she wants to whenever. Both the car and the card gave both Gatsby and Daisy the luxury of being free.

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