Old Sport In The Great Gatsby

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In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald incorporates the nickname “old sport” into Jay Gatsby’s dialogue to allude to the disconnect between space and time, demonstrating how there used to be some type of existence or relationship in an area but not anymore. The demeanors Gatsby uses when speaking to Nick in both a friendly and condescending manner and Tom in an agitated manner by using the phrase “old sport” help display the disconnect between space and time. This idea is noteworthy because understanding immense depths of just two words can allow for an alternate perception of the text as a whole. Gatsby using the phrase “old sport” while talking with Nick in a friendly manner presents the notion that some type of breach exists…show more content…
For example, Gatsby says, “Why, look here, old sport, you don’t make much money, do you? (82). Gatsby says this quote to Nick just after Nick has agreed to help reintroduce him to Daisy by inviting her over for tea. Gatsby has the audacity to ask Nick for a huge favor and then comes into his home to comment upon the wealth of his host. Gatsby tries to hint at the fact that Nick is an outsider to the rich way of life while Gatsby, himself, is a member of the elite social class. In another instance, Fitzgerald writes, “‘The dance?’ He [Gatsby] dismissed all the dances he had given with a snap of his fingers. ‘Old sport, the dance is unimportant’” (109). This response occurs after Nick asks Gatsby a question about the night he and Daisy had shared. Without even considering Nick’s insight, Gatsby immediately dismisses what Nick has to say. Again, Gatsby is making an attempt to separate himself from Nick on the basis that he belongs to an elite social class while Nick does not. In both of these quotes, Gatsby speaks to Nick in a snobby, patronizing way. Gatsby’s constant need to reaffirm his own position regarding affluence shows that he, himself, does not entirely believe in his high social standing. Gatsby used to be very poor, but obtained an excessive amount of wealth at some point in his life. The phrase “old sport”…show more content…
In one example, when Gatsby and Tom are going back and forth arguing, Gatsby states, “I’ve got something to tell you, old sport —” (130). Later in the same argument, Gatsby expresses, “Not seeing. No we couldn’t meet. But both of us loved each other all that time, old sport, and you didn’t know. I used to laugh sometimes — to think that you didn’t know” (131). In both of these quotes, Gatsby enlightens Tom to new information: the intimacy between he and Daisy. Gatsby alludes to the relationship that he and Daisy used to have long ago by using the phrase “old sport.” After Gatsby went off to the war, however, they had to cut off their relationship, and it was non-existent for an extended period of time. The change in familiarity between Gatsby and Daisy over the years amplifies the notion of time and space not being in complete accordance with one
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