-The Great Gatsby-

Chapter 9

Nick writes chapter 9 two years after Gatsby’s death. With all kinds of people such as: reporters, photographers, and rubberneckers all looking into Gatsby’s pool and all spreading untrue stories, more exaggerated than the rumours about Gatsby when he was throwing his parties, they also speculate about the nature of Gatsby’s relationship to Myrtle and Wilson. 

Even Daisy and Tom have abandoned their home, sneaking away without leaving a forwarding address. Nick is infuriated by the fickleness of Gatsby’s so-called friends but not entirely surprised, as he predicted this early on when those who were at his parties didn’t know Gatsby. 

Meyer Wolfsheim and Klipspringer refused to go. The latter claims that he has a social engagement in Westport and asks Nick to send along his tennis shoes. The only people to attend the funeral are Nick, Owl Eyes, a few servants, and Gatsby’s father, Henry C. Gatz, who has come all the way from Minnesota. Despite the fact that Gatsby had abandoned his past, his father talks fondly of his son, saying how proud he was of him, and saving a photo of Gatsby’s enormous house to remember him by. He also feels as though he should fill Nick in on Gatsby’s early life, he shows him a book in which a young Gatsby had written a schedule for self-improvement.

Nick without Gatsby realises he has been and is sick of the East and its empty values, Nick decides to move back to the Midwest. He chooses to break away from Jordan, who suddenly claims that she has become engaged to another man. Just before he leaves, Nick encounters Tom on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Tom proudly tells Nick that he was the one who told Wilson that Gatsby owned the car that killed Myrtle and describes how greatly he suffered when he had to give up the apartment he kept in the city for his affair.

 He justifies his actions proudly by stating that Gatsby deserved to die. Nick filled with anger, comes to the conclusion that Tom and Daisy are selfish and are only bothered by their own personal interests and that they destroy anything they want, knowing that their money and status will shield them from ever having to face any consequences of their actions.

Nick views this story as a story of the West even though it has taken place entirely on the East Coast. Nick, Jordan, Tom, and Daisy are all from west of the Appalachians. Nick remembers life in the Midwest and what a contrast it was, full of trains and snow and thinks that the East seems grotesque in comparison.

On his last night in West Egg before moving back to Minnesota, Nick walks over to Gatsby’s empty mansion and erases an obscene word that someone has written on the steps. He pictures the green land of America as the green light shining from Daisy’s dock, and thinks that Gatsby, whose wealth and success so closely echo the American dream. However, both dreams for some fell flat mirroring Gatsby’s failed dream of getting Daisy back. 

Nick then describes Gatsby as a believer in the future, a man of promise and faith. Before leaving Nick stares across the bay at the green light in the distance, putting himself in the shoes of Gatsby one last time

Plot Summary

Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota, moves to New York in the summer of 1922 to learn about the bond business. He rents a house in the West Egg district of Long Island, a wealthy but unfashionable area populated by the new rich, a group who have made their fortunes too recently to have established social connections and who are prone to garish displays of wealth. Nick’s next-door neighbour in West Egg is a mysterious man named Jay Gatsby, who lives in a gigantic Gothic mansion and throws extravagant parties every Saturday night.

Nick is unlike the other inhabitants of West Egg—he was educated at Yale and has social connections in East Egg, a fashionable area of Long Island home to the established upper class. Nick drives out to East Egg one evening for dinner with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom, an erstwhile classmate of Nick’s at Yale. Daisy and Tom introduce Nick to Jordan Baker, a beautiful, cynical young woman with whom Nick begins a romantic relationship. Nick also learns a bit about Daisy and Tom’s marriage: Jordan tells him that Tom has a lover, Myrtle Wilson, who lives in the valley of ashes, a grey industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New York City. Not long after this revelation, Nick travels to New York City with Tom and Myrtle. At a vulgar, gaudy party in the apartment that Tom keeps for the affair, Myrtle begins to taunt Tom about Daisy, and Tom responds by breaking her nose.

 As the summer progresses, Nick eventually garners an invitation to one of Gatsby’s legendary parties. He encounters Jordan Baker at the party, and they meet Gatsby himself, a surprisingly young man who affects an English accent, has a remarkable smile, and calls everyone “old sport.” Gatsby asks to speak to Jordan alone, and, through Jordan, Nick later learns more about his mysterious neighbour. Gatsby tells Jordan that he knew Daisy in Louisville in 1917 and is deeply in love with her. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion. Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are simply an attempt to impress Daisy. Gatsby now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy, but he is afraid that Daisy will refuse to see him if she knows that he still loves her. Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will also be there. After an initially awkward reunion, Gatsby and Daisy re-establish their connection. Their love rekindled, they begin an affair.

After a short time, Tom grows increasingly suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Gatsby. At a luncheon at the Buchanans’ house, Gatsby stares at Daisy with such undisguised passion that Tom realizes Gatsby is in love with her. Though Tom is himself involved in an extramarital affair, he is deeply outraged by the thought that his wife could be unfaithful to him. He forces the group to drive into New York City, where he confronts Gatsby in a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Tom asserts that he and Daisy have a history that Gatsby could never understand, and he announces to his wife that Gatsby is a criminal—his fortune comes from bootlegging alcohol and other illegal activities. Daisy realizes that her allegiance is to Tom, and Tom contemptuously sends her back to East Egg with Gatsby, attempting to prove that Gatsby cannot hurt him.

 When Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive through the valley of ashes, however, they discover that Gatsby’s car has struck and killed Myrtle, Tom’s lover. They rush back to Long Island, where Nick learns from Gatsby that Daisy was driving the car when it struck Myrtle, but that Gatsby intends to take the blame. The next day, Tom tells Myrtle’s husband, George, that Gatsby was the driver of the car. George, who has leapt to the conclusion that the driver of the car that killed Myrtle must have been her lover, finds Gatsby in the pool at his mansion and shoots him dead. He then fatally shoots himself.

Nick stages a small funeral for Gatsby, ends his relationship with Jordan, and moves back to the Midwest to escape the disgust he feels for the people surrounding Gatsby’s life and for the emptiness and moral decay of life among the wealthy on the East Coast. Nick reflects that just as Gatsby’s dream of Daisy was corrupted by money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism has disintegrated into the mere pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him ‘great,’ Nick reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby’s dream and the American dream—is over.

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