The Great Gatsby
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Chapter 8
Summary

In the morning following the hit and run accident, Nick pays a visit to Gatsby trying to encourage him to leave West Egg and get himself together, but Gatsby is adamant especially with the thought of leaving Daisy. He describes to Nick how he met Daisy and the events that unfolded leading to Tom and Daisy getting together remaining adamant he and Daisy will get back together. Nick feels sorry towards Gatsby, especially given the stubbornness that he exhibited towards not letting go of his past with Daisy. In the end, though he opines that Gatsby is worth the whole bunch of the elite circle bundled together. George Wilson, on the other hand, is much troubled by Myrtle’s death believing that it was more of a murder than an accident and seeks out for revenge. He later learns from Tom that it was Gatsby’s car that had killed his wife prompting Wilson to seek after Gatsby and shoots him after which he turns the gun on himself leaving the two dead. Nick discovers the two bodies after trying to get through to Gatsby on the phone to no avail.

Analysis

Gatsby happens to have been quite surprised particularly after the night vigil at the Buchanan’s place when it appeared that Daisy no longer needed him. Gatsby cannot come to the reality that Daisy has changed the love that she had from him from the last time that they had been together. He feels to have been spiritually tied to her in “marriage” owing to the previous relationship that they had yet Daisy does not share the same sentiments. Gatsby seems to be in a perpetual dream that Daisy as lost her way and that she requires his help to save her from the path she was treading. On his part, Nick would rather tolerate Gatsby’s depiction as a dreamer than the apparent moral emptiness from the Buchanan’s and their ilk. He is seen to be having more concern for his friend Gatsby, than even his family, Daisy, telling him to leave Egg West probably until the issue of Myrtle’s death had settled.

In Gatsby’s world, he had invested too much into the relationship with Daisy that he could not give up his pursuit. He had refused to come to terms that the dream which he had about living happily ever after with Daisy had died. Interestingly, believing that he is exerting God’s revenge, he sets out to in search of Myrtle’s murderer. This skewed belief that he develops plus the apparent unfortunate killing of Gatsby as the murderer of Myrtle’s also gives out an example of the distorted reality that exists. Gatsby bears the consequence of a crime she did not commit while the perpetrator walks in freedom. In this regard, there is also a depiction of class struggle with the persons not within the elite class representing collateral damage which the elite could afford to play.

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