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    Jay Gatsby

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    Regular visitors to our website know of our lament for the lack of memorable Jewish characters in literature. (And no, we don't mean in the writings of Jewish authors such as Philip Roth or Saul Bellow. They can't help but write about Jews, and who can blame them?)

    No, the goy authors stay away from Jews. Oh, you might see one, but never as the protagonist. Unless, of course, you subscribe to the theory that Jay Gatsby is Jewish.

    That's right, the titular character of "The Great Gatsby", only one of the greatest novels ever written. Jewish? How?

    Well, there are hints. The name change, from Gatz. His difficulties integrating into WASP society. His friendship with Jewish organized crime.

    Well, we don't buy it. The connections to Jewish organized crime are not exclusive to Jews alone; in fact, Wolfsheim recruits Gatsby to get into WASP society. Jay's real last name, Gatz, is German, not Jewish. And the awkwardness adapting to WASPs is explained by his origins in North Dakota...

    That's right, Jay Gatsby is from North Dakota. Seriously, if F. Scott Fitzgerald wanted to make him a midwestern closet Jew, wouldn't he have picked Illinois? Or Wisconsin? Or anything but the least Jewish state possible?

    Verdict: Sadly, Not a Jew.

    March 16, 2010

    See Also

    Saul Bellow

    Rick Blaine

    Leopold Bloom

    Humbert Humbert

    Philip Roth
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