The Great Gatsby
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Contributed by Karim Chandra
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Chapter 9
Summary

The day Jay Gatsby dies is well covered in police gossip photographers, reporters, and rubberneckers. They are looking into the pool of Gatsby and creating various theories regarding the life of the man. Nick Carraway tries to reach out to Gatsby’s friends to assist him in planning his funeral, but they all seem to have disappeared. He is, therefore, afraid that he may be forced to plan the funeral alone. Tom and Daisy also happen to have snaked away. They have not left any forward addresses that may be used to show where they are and how to reach them. Nick is full of fury as a result of the fickleness shown by the friends of Gatsby. He is also not completely surprised when a few of Gatsby’s servants turn up. Gatsby’s father who has traveled from Minnesota also comes. Only those alone managed to attend Gatsby’s funeral. In spite of the fact that Gatsby appeared to have had abandoned his past, his father speaks highly of him. He says that he is proud of him. He goes ahead to save a photo of the house of Gatsby to remember him by.

In New York, Nick meets with Tom, one afternoon. Tom admits that he had told George Wilson that Gatsby killed Myrtle Wilson. Nick is full of anger, but Tom tells him that Gatsby deserved to die. He also admits that he had gone through a terrible loss through the death of Myrtle. He had also found it hard to give up the New York apartment that he and Myrtle normally used whenever they met. He insists that he has gone through some heartbreaking moment. Nick goes after the conversation while feeling that he was talking to a child. Nick tells Jordan goodbye, once and for all.  He, after that, packs his backs in preparation to go back to Midwest. On his last day at the Egg, he visits the home of Gatsby and looks across the bay, seeing the green light from a distance. 

Analysis

The last part of the chapter helps to tie all the loose ends that come up in the entire novel. The audience, therefore, gets a chance to understand some of the concepts that are detailed in the novel which would not be easily understood. The blind arrogance of Tom pushes him to blame Gatsby for the accident that had claimed his lover, Myrtle.  He does not feel any remorse neither does he share the belief that he may have had played a major role in the death of Gatsby. Nick resents Tom and does not want to shake his hand. He finally accepts and tells him goodbye as it would be “silly not to.” Nick also realizes that there is no need to keep on being angry with Tom. Just like Daisy, Tom is too shallow and too involved. He is also spoilt and does not realize the great damage that he has caused. By Tom stating that he had also suffered by having to give up his apartment in New York seemed to be good enough in comparison with the death of Gatsby. The damning view that he has is, therefore, an indication of the great contrast exists between old money and new money. Although Nick does not hold as much money as Gatsby, he is still a member of the same social circle to which the man belonged. The time that Nick lived at West Egg gave him the chance to have a share of the upscale life that had a high level of riches and luxury. Through the interaction he has with the Buchanans and Gatsby, he interacts with people who are ready to sacrifice everything to attain some level of social standing in life.

Nick also happens to grapple with the trappings of the American Dream. America is a land full of opportunities. People are, therefore, able to move from rags to riches. Gatsby is an instance of a person who was able to define success for himself. In his quest to be wealthy, he was able to achieve it, in the true definition of the American Dream. When Nick looks at Gatsby’s house one more time, he sees a green light. He wonders how the man might have had thought he had his dream at his grasp, not realizing that it was, rather, behind him.

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