Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Great Gatsby: the tragedy of it all

Chapter IX Notes

Two years later, Nick recalls the funeral.  He tried desperately to get anyone to come to Gatsby’s funeral, but no one had any interest.  Everyone disappeared, even Daisy and Tom left town.

Nick tried Mr. Wolfshiem, but he only told the story of how he made Jay Gatsby: “raised him up out of nothing, right out of the gutter.”  But even still, Mr. Wolfshiem would not attend Gatsby’s funeral. 

Since Gatsby’s father, Mr. Gatz, did attend his son's funeral, we get a personal view of Gatsby: a young man who tried to do right and to live well – to improve himself.

After the funeral, Tom tells Nick that Wilson visited him, and he, Tom, had to tell him the truth about who owned the yellow car.  Remember, it was Tom who drove Gatsby’s car to Wilson’s shop the day they went into the City.   Nonetheless, Tom believes Gatsby had it coming to him.  Nick says nothing, but he knows Tom does not know the truth, or at least he is wrong about Gatsby. 

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Finally, Nick thinks about how Gatsby must have thought his dream was in his control, but it was not.  It was already gone.  But Gatsby, like so many others, falsely believes that if he can only reach harder for his dream – turned into an idol and worshipped - he could have it all, too.

She was never his to take.

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