The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Jay Gatsby Quotes
"Meyer Wolfsheim? No, he's a gambler." Gatsby hesitated, then added coolly: "He's the man who fixed the World's Series back in 1919."
"Fixed the World's Series?" I repeated. […] "Why isn't he in jail?"
"They can't get him, old sport. He's a smart man." (112-118)
This New America may not have room for pure-hearted dreamers like Gatsby, but it certainly does have room for corrupt, smarty-pants criminals like Meyer Wolfsheim.
"If it wasn't for the mist we could see your home across the bay," said Gatsby. "You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock." Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one. (5.121-122)
When Gatsby and Daisy finally get together, the dream vanishes. Does this mean that the American Dream has to stay forever a dream? That it loses its meaning if we actually achieve it—or that, once we achieve it, we find out that it wasn't so great to begin with?
"See!" he cried triumphantly. "It's a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella's a regular Belasco. It's a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop, too - didn't cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?" (3.49-50)
Gatsby can buy the things that rich people have, but he can't buy the education or experience. But from what the owl-eyed man says, it doesn't sound like anyone else is reading them, either. (See "Gatsby's Books" for an explanation.)