Klipspringer

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, The Great Gatsby, the short-lived character of Ewing Klipspringer plays a large role in representing a major theme of the novel: the hollowness of the upper class. Though Klipspringer only briefly appears during the story, his character is an important symbol for the way wealth and the upper class is perceived in the novel. While he may seem like an unimportant character due to his blunt appearance in the novel, he plays a significant part in representing the greedy nd materialistic mentality of the upper class.
We are introduced to Klipspringer in chapter five of The Great Gatsby, being described as a “slightly worn young man, with shell-rimmed glasses and scanty blonde hair. ” Klipspringer is a frequent guest at the Gatsby mansion, playing the piano for Mr. Gatsby and staying at the mansion as he pleases. The way he is described in the novel assumes he has a somewhat innocent demeanor, where he is “decently clothed” and seems awkward and embarrassed when Gatsby asks him to lay the piano; however, he proves to have the opposite disposition.
He is otherwise recognized as a freeloader, as he uses Gatsby for his enormous wealth; and he has no sympathy or gratitude for Gatsby, proven by his absence at Gatsbys funeral. In several ways, Klipspringer’s greed and selfishness reflects the entire society of the upper class. They take advantage of Gatsbys prosperity and parties; yet they have no feelings towards him. Like the rest of Gatsbys hundreds of guests, Klipspringer fails to attend Gatsbys funeral at the end of the novel.

Klipspringer furthermore goes to call Nick during Gatsbys funeral to retrieve a pair of his tennis shoes, rather than calling to send any condolences. Klipspringer’s lack of compassion and sympathy speaks for Gatsbys relationship with all of his many guests – although he serves them generously, they lack any gratitude or empathy towards him. Though Klipspringer only appears in the novel a short time, his brief appearance plays an important role in showcasing a vital theme in the novel: the hollowness of the upper class. At the end of chapter five, Gatsby requests Klipspringer to play him a song on the piano.
Klipspringer plays the song, “Ain’t We Got Fun”, singing along, “One things sure and nothings surer, the rich get richer and the poor get – children. In the meantime, in between time. ” In several ways, Klipspringer’s song choice suggests the shallow, unhappy lifestyle of the upper class. While they live lavish lifestyles and attend ornate parties, none of these provide any personal value. This proves especially true for Gatsby himself, as he spends large amounts of money on is extravagant parties, yet none of them bring him any true happiness.
Klipspringer’s freeloading at Gatsbys mansion also shows how wealthy Gatsby truly is, being able to have a personal piano player stay at his mansion. It reflects his “new money’ lifestyle of carelessly spending money, and represents the ostentatious ways of the “newly rich” residents of West Egg. The upscale residents of West Egg are not brought up by wealthy families, and have not been prosperous for most of their lives; thus, the residents of West Egg are typically more humble, but lack the ophistication of those in East Egg.
While Klipspringer was short-lived in the story, he serves as a symbol for the novel’s greater theme: the hollowness ot the upper class. Though ne is only one man, he reflects the whole acquisitive society of the upper class; spending money carelessly, and taking advantage of Gatsbys wealth and gaudy parties. Although he only made a brief appearance, he plays a large role in characterizing the egotistic and selfish ways of the upper class in The Great Gatsby.

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