Last week, I made several speculations in my blog post about Nick and Gatsby that I now will confirm or refute.
For Gatsby, we learn that his background is most likely made up. By telling Nick that all of his family members are dead, Nick has no way to confirm Gatsby's background as it would be impossible to find a trace of it. Also, sometimes, Gatsby has no idea what he is talking about; "San Francisco" is not quite the "mid-west". He has made these kinds of mistakes repeatedly as well – Venice is not a capital in Europe either. Gatsby's factually incorrect statements further reinforces the suspicion of his (probably) lies.
We also learn about Gatsby's true identity. Gatsby's tells Nick, "Oh, I've been in several things... I was in the drug business and then I was in the oil business. But I'm not in either one now" (Fitzgerald 90). We now know for a fact that Gatsby works in the illegal alcohol business. Right before where we left off from last night's reading, Tom yells at Gatsby, "‘I found out what your ‘drug stores’ were.’ He turned to us and spoke rapidly. ‘He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter" (Fitzgerald 133). Gatsby concretely establishes that he dealt grained alcohol and confirms our previous speculations.
I have also mentioned in my comments on my previous blog post, but Nick actually gets very close to Gatsby. Turns out I was completely wrong about Gatsby and Nick keeping the distance between each other. Gatsby lets Nick into deeper parts of his past, though very much arguably in order to get to Daisy. A lot of chapter six touches on Gatsby's past. My readings have additionally supported my argument that Gatsby only interacted with Nick as a means to get to Daisy. Gatsby can indeed build a meaningful relationship with Gatsby if he wanted to, but he only wants to build one with Daisy.