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George Wilson in The Great Gatsby Essay


Nobody heard the shot. Not one of Jay Gatsbys servants heard the gun go off. George Wilson had fired the perfect shot to kill Gatsby, or did he? Although Anne Crow makes a few questionable points in her critical review titled The Great Gatsby Mystery, but I in fact believe Anne Crow successfully pieced together holes in the story to lead me to believe that Gatsby was not in fact killed by George Wilson, but somebody else.

Throughout the novel, George Wilson was portrayed as a spiritless, worn-out man. Anne Crow argues that George Wilson was too spiritless to commit such an act (1). This statement is true, because George Wilson was portrayed as weak by many throughout the novel. From the moment Nick had seen Wilson, he already had him analyzed. When Nick enters Wilsons garage and sees him for the first time, he describes him as a blond, spiritless man, anemic, and faintly handsome (25). Wilson could be analyzed just from the looks of him. At first glance, Nick described him as spiritless; no such man could ever commit such a gruesome crime. Towards the end of the novel, George Wilson is described by his neighbor. Michaelis, George Wilsons neighbor of four years states that, Generally he was one of those worn out menWhen anyone spoke to him he invariably laughed in an agreeable colorless way. He was his wifes man not his own (136). George Wilson was worn-out and everybody knew it. In his spare time he sat on a porch and watched cars drive by. There was not even enough of him for his wife; in no way could a man of this sort commit murder. While Crow makes a solid argument about Wilsons personality, I have to disagree with her idea that Gatsby wasnt killed on his mattress.

There are many holes in the crime that was committed, and many certainly can be explained with some analyzing, but I do not believe Gatsby was put on the matress after he was killed. Crow believes that Gatsby may have been killed and placed on the mattress afterwards, to float on the pool until someone found him (2). One implication with this idea is that it would have been extremely difficult to carry out a crime as difficult as that without alarming one of Gatsbys numerous servants. As Nick assumes something is wrong he rushes to the pool and sees Little ripples that were hardly the shadow of waves, the laden mattress moved irregularly down the poolthe touch of a cluster of leaves revolved it slowly, tracing, like the leg of transit, a thin red circle in the water (162). Nowhere in the description of Gatsbys death did Fitzgerald raise the suspicion that Gatsby was placed on the mattress. He did not describe blood anywhere else but in the pool. Although no suspicion was raised as the location of Gatsbys death, suspicion can be raised about how nobody knew he was dead until Nick arrived. When Nick had a gut feeling that something was wrong Nick states that he drove directly from the station to Gatsbys house and his rushing anxiously up the front steps was the first thing that alarmed any one. With scarcely a word said, four of us, the chauffeur, butler, gardener, and I, hurried down to the pool (162). Even though I believe Gatsby was killed on the mattress, the question still rises as to how nobody found Gatsby earlier. Only when Nick rushed to the house, did the servants realize that something was wrong. Which raises the question as to why nobody had discovered his body earlier? But I believe that there were reasons behind why his body wasnt discovered earlier. Fitzgerald leads us to believe that Wolfshiem may have been behind the murder.

Even though Wolfshiem appeared to be Gatsbys friend, Wolfshiem cared about one thing in the end; money. Crow states that Gatsby fired his servantshe replaced them with Wolfshiems peoplethey had villainous faces, and the grocery boy reported that the kitchen looked like a pigsty (3). This is very alarming because Gatsby always held pride when it came to his house. In the beginning of the novel Fitzgerald states that On weekends his Rolls Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, and on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing brushes and hammers and garden shears, repairing the ravages of the night before (39). Gatsby was proud of his home and always kept it perfect. It is unlike him that he would just fire his servants to hire Wolfshiems people who were not even servants, and left his house a mess. Another reason that leads me to suspicion that Wolfshiem was behind the murder, is the fact that he didnt even go to Gatsbys funeral. Wolfshiem states We were so thick like that in everythinghe held up two bulbous fingersalways together (73). If Wolshiem and Gatsby were so close why couldnt Wolfshiem show his respect and attend Gatsbys funeral? A true friend certainly would have done so. I believe Wolfshiem just wanted to separate himself from everything as much as possible. He was a law breaker and didnt want any suspicions of being connected with Gatsbys death.

Certainly we could easily assume that George Wilson was at fault for Gatsbys death and there are many reasons that could back that up. But when the time is taken to truly look at the crime, I believe it was not George Wilson, and there are many reasons that he was not the murderer. While Crow makes some inaccurate statements, I most certainly agree with her on many of her points. The murder should not be left in the hands of George Wilson, but in fact Wolfshiem. It was a world where money was power, and Wolfshiem had the money, Gatsby was just another interference, and Wolfshiem, a man where business comes first, took him out.

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