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___________________________The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Great Gatsby

 

Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 8

Summary:

Nick cannot sleep that night. Toward dawn he hears a taxi go up Gatsby's drive, and he immediately feels that he has something to warn Gatsby about. Gatsby is still there, watching Daisy's mansion across the bay.

Nick warns him to get away for a week, since his car will inevitably be traced, but he refuses to consider it. He cannot leave Daisy until he knows what she will do. It was then that Gatsby told his entire history to Nick.

Gatsby still refuses to believe that Daisy ever loved Tom. After the war Gatsby searched for Daisy, only to find that she had married Tom. Nick leaves reluctantly, having to go to work that morning. Before he leaves, Nick tells Gatsby that he's "worth the whole damn bunch put together." At work, Nick gets a call from Jordan, and they have a tense conversation.

That day Michaelis goes to comfort Wilson, who is convinced that his wife was murdered. He had found the dog collar that Tom had bought Myrtle hidden the day before, which prompted their sudden decision to move west. Wilson looks out at the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg and tells Michaelis that "God sees everything." Wilson left, "acting crazy" (according to witnesses), and found his way to Gatsby's house. Gatsby had gone out to the pool for one last swim before draining it for the fall. Wilson shot him, and then shot himself.

 

Review:

Nick's concern for Gatsby demonstrates the loyalty that he still has toward the man. Despite all of the careless behavior that Gatsby has been involved in, he still remains absolved of a great deal of the blame. Nick gives the final appraisal of Gatsby when he tells him that he's "worth the whole damn bunch of them."

Although Nick disapproves of some things that Gatsby does, he admires him for being the hopeless and hopeful "great romantic who represents the worldly ambitions in all of us. He believes in seizing the 'green light' and the dreams of youth, no matter what the cost.

The exchange between Michaelis and Wilson before he seeks out Gatsby is significant. He looks out at the eyes advertisement and claims that "God sees everything," an important injection of morality into the novel. The only previous statements of moral belief have come from Tom, who uses them as weapons to maintain his societal status. For Wilson the statement is of religious terror: whatever sins these people commit, they cannot hide them from god. Yet this jarring introduction of moral instruction is based on delusion. Wilson confuses the eyes of an advertisement for the eyes of god.

Fitzgerald imbues the description of Gatsby's death with images of transition. Even before the murder occurs there seems to be an understanding that a change will soon occur. When Nick leaves Gatsby they say good-bye to each other, implying that it is a final departure. Before Gatsby is murdered he is taking one last swim before draining the pool for the fall.

 

 

  • Biography of F. Scott Fitsgerald

  • Quick/Fast Review

  • Character List

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 1

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 2

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 3

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 4

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 5

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 6

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 7

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 8

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 9

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