Discuss the Importance of Rumour and Gossip of ‘The Great Gatsby’
“They say he’s a nephew or a cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm’s. That’s where all his money comes from.” There are frequent speculations on Gatsby. These rumours, it is later exposed, are completely untrue. For example, the first party that Nick attended at Gatsby’s’ house, he overheard a conversation between Jordan Baker and two other women. One of the women explain to Jordan of their previous experience at one of Gatsby’s party’s which led to her accidently having her dress torn, where less than a week later, Gatsby had the lady’s dress replaced, “‘There is something funny about a fellow that’ll do a thing like that’, the lady said the other girl eagerly. ‘He doesn’t want any trouble with anybody.’”
At the party Nick feels out of place and notes that the party is filled with people who haven't been invited and who appear "agonizingly" aware of the "easy money" surrounding them. The main topic of conversation is rumours about Gatsby. Nick hears from various people that Gatsby is a German spy, an Oxford graduate, and someone even claims Gatsby once killed a man. People used Gatsby for his extravagant parties, whereby most of his "new money" guests didn't even know him. Gatsby continues to be a man who barely seems to exist beyond the rumours about him.
Gatsby, however, is not the only character who is subject to gossip and rumours. Indeed, the novel is encompassed by rumours, lies and preconceived accusations. For example Tom has misled Myrtle and her sister Catherine into believing that Daisy is a Catholic, thus she would never agree to a divorce.
When Nick first meets Jordan Baker, it takes him till the end of the evening to realise she is Jordan Baker the golf player, where it dawns on him that he has heard an “unpleasant story” about her, showing Nicks star-hunter side of his persona and Bakers deceitful career, whereby she once cheated in a tournament. Nick afterwards describes her as...