The Great Gatsby – Chapter 8

Chapter Eight

So comes the aftermath of Daisy killing Myrtle, by accident, and not really doing anything to come forward and say ‘hey it was me’. Ok I have to admit, that it is a traumatic experience for both Gatsby and Daisy, and I understand the reluctance to not step forward, and to not want to admit that you killed someone. But, it’s going to be found out soon enough, and it’s worse to try to keep denying it, and not do anything, much better to admit your guilt, than hide it. And what happens in this chapter just escalates things further.

Nick doesn’t sleep all night, and goes straight to Gatsby when he hears him coming home just before dawn. Nothing happened with Daisy, she just turned off the light, and went to sleep. Gatsby continues to refuse to leave without Daisy, even though Nick thinks it’s the best thing to do, because it won’t be long before he’s connected to the death. But I really think Gatsby might have lost his chance to run away and live happily ever after with Daisy.

Nick and Gatsby have an interesting conversation about how he met Daisy and fell in love with her. It was before the war, and it sounds like everyone loved Daisy, but Gatsby loved her more, and won her heart. Though he feels guilty for ‘pretending’ to have more than he had. Gatsby had to go off to war, and Daisy basically grew tired of waiting for him to return, the uncertainty of if he’d ever return was too much, she wanted to get on with her life. Which is fair enough. So she married Tom. And I’m sure she probably did love him at one point. Gatsby never gave up and basically travelled around ‘searching’, until he was penniless (still we don’t know how he became so rich, is it from bootlegging as Tom suggested?).

I have to give Fitzgerald one piece of praise that he can be really descriptive at times, I just don’t really find it interesting enough.

As Nick leaves Gatsby alone, he gives him the ‘only’ compliment that he ever gave him. All he said was “They’re a rotten crowd, you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” Not really that great a compliment, but Nick was ‘glad’ he said that, though he disapproved of him from beginning to end. At that point it made me think that Gatsby was going to commit suicide, and the events later on getting the mattress also made me think he was going to do that, but he didn’t quite.

And even Nick and Jordan’s relationship has fallen to pieces, I’m not really sure why, I honestly thought they were going to be together, but it seems that Nick doesn’t like her either! As Nick tries to ring Gatsby, he doesn’t pick up, the line supposedly being left open for a call from Detroit. I do like Fitzegerald’s description of Nick walking past the accident site with the garrulous man, quite apt. Then Nick recounts what happened at the garage with Mr Wilson, he had a terrible night, and his neighbour, Michaelis was with him the whole night, and he too, had a terrible night. But when he left after the morning, Mr Wilson left too, and this time, he was going to find out who was responsible. Which lead him to Gatsby.

And it appears that Gatsby shot Wilson, and I don’t understand how that happened. Was he going to commit suicide, but then Wilson was trying to attack him, so he shot him? Why else did he have a gun with him? I’m not even sure of Gatsby is still alive. Hmm, well hopefully things are answered in the final chapter, one I can’t wait to read, simply so the book is over!

4 Comments

Filed under F. Scott Fitzgerald, The classics, The Great Gatsby

4 responses to “The Great Gatsby – Chapter 8

  1. kirksroom

    I googled “greatest novels of all time”, and a whole line of books came up. The first one was Ulysses. The second one was this.

    • Yeah I know that Great Gatsby is really popular, and touted as a great novel, I just don’t agree. As for Ulysses, haven’t read it (yet), though it’s on the list of books to get around to.

  2. kirksroom

    So I take it you won’t be watching the Luhrmann film?

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