The Great Gatsby Chapter 8

The Great Gatsby Chapter 8

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Chapter Eight
Gatsby waits all night outside the Buchanan's house in case Daisy needs him, but nothing
Gatsby tells Nick the truth about his past and his relationship with Daisy
Nick goes to work where he receives a phone call from Jordan. He makes excuses not to see
Nick describes events that occurred just after Myrtle's death, and hints that Wilson headed
to Gatsby's house
Nick returns from work and finds that Gatsby has been killed. Wilson's body is found nearby
Divided into short segments to suggest that the novel is building up to a climax
Nick uses a series of incomplete accounts to increase the tension - because the story is told
from the point of view of a range of characters, the reader doesn't know what to believe.
Fitzgerald creates a cliff-hanger at the end of the chapter - Gatsby's dead but not clear how.
1) Chapter 8 opens ominously - Nick can't sleep and shifts between nightmares and
"grotesque" reality.
2) Around dawn Nick walks over to Gatsby's house to find Gatsby has neglected his home while
he has been seeing Daisy. The darkness contrasts with the bright lights of former times and
the "splash upon the keys of a ghostly piano" in the dark is like an echo of past parties.
3) Now that Gatsby's home is empty and dark and the fictional persona of `Jay Gatsby' has
"broken up like glass against Tom's hard malice", Nick declares that the "long secret
extravaganza" of the rumours and parties is over. The illusion of the Great Gatsby is
shattered - Gatsby's no longer `great' but is revealed to be just a man.
4) Gatsby can't accept that his dream is dead. He talks to Nick about Daisy as a way of keeping
his dream alive. Nick's references to Daisy's wealth and status - the "bought luxury of the
star-shine", "a person from much the same strata as herself" - implies that Gatsby is
attracted to what Daisy stands for, rather than who she is.
5) Gatsby wasted his great ability to achieve his dreams when he discarded all his other
ambitions to chase the dream of Daisy. He thinks there's no use "doing great things if I could
have a better time telling her what I was going to do".
6) It's suggested that Gatsby only wanted Daisy because, like the "grail" she was unobtainable.
Gatsby's tendency to dream means he always wants more. The reference to the grail links
Gatsby to medieval knights who followed the strict code of chivalry in completing dangerous
quests and selflessly worshipping their `lady' at a distance.
7) Therefore Gatsby becomes a knight, a chivalrous hero with shining armour made of
immaculate suits and shirts and an expensive automobile as his steed.
8) Gatsby repeatedly suggests he's unworthy of Daisy. Nick's claim that Gatsby is "worth the
whole damn bunch" contradicts his "unworthiness" and highlights problems of a class-based
o Nick now sees through the veneer of `polite society' and is repulsed by their lack of care and
shallow behaviour.

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Nick's description of the society Daisy grew up in is critical of her "artificial world" full of
"cheerful snobbery"
o Nick suggests that she was part of the leisure class that "drifted here and there" listening to
the "hopeless comment of the Beale Street blues'", a song about the impact of prohibition
on the African-American culture.…read more

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The bright colours of summer are replaces with "grey" light and "blue leaves". The hint of
gold in the "gold turning" light could represent romance and Gatsby's continued delusion that
Daisy is still waiting for him and that things will turn round again.
Gatsby is faithful to Daisy until the end. He dies because he takes the blame for her
carelessness - Wilson kills him because he believes that Gatsby is responsible for Myrtle's
death, when in fact Daisy is responsible.…read more



it's just copied from the cgp guide

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