Chapter 8

After the harrowing events of the last chapter, more dramatic events occur at the end of this one, resulting in the deaths of two more characters and the end of a dream.

Gatsby is stubborn and refuses to leave town after his car was involved in a hit-and-run, for no other reason than that he won’t leave Daisy.  To Gatsby, Daisy was a “nice” girl who represented wealth and beauty to him when he was younger, which is all that he ever wanted in life.  In turn, he wanted her, and he acquired her love under false pretenses, making her think that he was secure and as rich as her.  Having her as the object of desire for many men previously made her even more desirable, because she was a hot entity to others.  He “committed himself to the following of a grail” is a metaphor that demonstrates how Daisy was a heavenly being to him.  They became very much in love with each other before Gatsby left for the war but then Daisy began to panic and started to date many  men again after he was gone from her sight.  Tom was one of these many men, and he offered her security, so she married him.  Gatsby believes that Daisy never loved Tom and only ever loved him, but he is just fooling himself.  Gatsby has become more and more degraded as the story has gone on and is no longer seen as a great man as the title had implied.

All the relationships between the characters seem to be falling apart.  Nick claims that he always disapproved of Gatsby the whole time that he had known him, which I personally did not see through Nick’s narrative and description of Gatsby throughout the novel.  He seemed to be intrigued by Gatsby and wanted to know more about him.  Tensions also rise between Nick and Jordan after the death of Myrtle and he doesn’t appear to have a care in the world left for her.  The whole world of Gatsby is turned upside down.

Meanwhile, Wilson is in a state of disarray and doesn’t seem to know what to do with himself because of his grief and anger.  He believes that Myrtle ran outside to talk to the man that she was cheating on him with, and that the man murdered her by running her over with his car.  Wilson is partially right.  Myrtle probably believed that it was Tom driving Gatsby’s car because that was the car he was driving earlier, but it wasn’t him who killed her and it was only an accidental killing.  He is furious and wants to discover who the man is that has caused so much trouble in his life.  So he somehow acquires a gun and goes around asking people if they know of a yellow car, which leads him to the false assumption that Gatsby is the man who not only killed his wife, but cheated with her, too.  The next thing you know, gunshots are fired and Gatsby is dead.  Wilson committed suicide right after he committed the murder of the namesake of this book.  Gatsby’s dreams and aspirations are dead along with him.

The tone in the last couple pages of this chapter changed from the usual perspective of Nick to becoming more matter-of-fact and detached, which may have foreshadowed Gatsby’s eminent demise.  The story has taken another shocking turn.


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