Maid: the Great Gatsby
“Things acquired through unjust fraud are never ever safe.” -Sophocles. As much as chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are recurring reports about Gatsby’s background including that he had actually killed a man, is of German descent, and is a bootlegger. These reports depict Gatsby as a male other than himself, but whether this holds true is still unpredictable. However, Nick’s eager awareness of Gatsby’s servants raises suspicion and allows readers to attain proof that reveals Gatsby’s real identity.
The house maid, seen by Nick and represented through her actions, undermines Gatsby’s status and exposes his identity as phony.
In chapter V, narrator Nick observes Gatsby’s house, but it is clear from Nick’s observations that something is not right; everything seems artificial and inconclusive. Nick notes that a maker had actually built Gatsby’s estate, and Gatsby tried to “pay five years’ taxes on all the neighboring homes if the owners would have their roofing systems thatched” (88) so that it would match Gatsby’s house.
It is essential to highlight that Gatsby had specifically spent for the neighbor’s taxes in order to improve the looks of his home. This extravagant action was done for reason: to attract Daisy. Nick likewise concludes that Americans have actually always been obstinate about being peasantry. At this moment, he observes: “A housemaid began opening the upper windows of his house, appeared for a short time in each, and, leaning from a big central bay, spat meditatively into the garden.” (88) Nick sees the housemaid “spit into the garden” as if she disrespects Gatsby.
It is necessary to note that the house maid spat “meditatively” meaning that it was done with intention and with fantastic idea. There was no reason for her to spit, nor was spitting a typical action back in the 1920’s, but her objectives were concealed. While she “spat” in Gatsby’s garden, one of his valuable homes, her action was in fact directed towards Gatsby himself. From this, it can be inferred that she disrespected him and despised him for his wealth, upper class, and popularity. While Gatsby exploited his wealth, meaning to impress Daisy, the maid, completely unconcerned about Gatsby’s goal, might likewise have actually abhored him for his pompous attitude.
Maids were usually part of the lower class, and it raises suspicion about why Gatsby would hire such a person. More importantly, it raises the question as to how she knows a lot about Gatsby and why she would hate Gatsby for his wealth. Her decision serves as a juxtaposition; Gatsby and the maid share similar qualities. Perhaps Gatsby’s background does not match the image that he portrays. It raises suspicion that Gatsby might be from the lower class as well and lives his current life as a fraud.
Fitzgerald puts the maid here in this chapter to insinuate something about Gatsby’s background. Nick’s keen observations and suspicious judgment gives the readers an opportunity to make connections. Ultimately, it is the connection that Gatsby and the maid were both raised in the lower class. Perhaps Gatsby was a bootlegger, and his ways of promoting himself into the upper class led to the maid’s actions;, it was her reaction in contempt that spoils the true identity of the great Gatsby.
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