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The Great Gatsby: Chapter 8
Transcript of The Great Gatsby: Chapter 8
Nick visits Gatsby for breakfast the next morning. Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy never came outside the previous night, but rejects Nick's advice to forget Daisy and leave Long Island. He tells Nick about the early days of his relationship with Daisy. He remembers how taken he was by her wealth, her enormous house, and even by the fact that other men had loved her. To be with her he let her believe he was of the same class as her. One night they slept together, and he felt he had married her. Then he left for World War I. Daisy waited for a while and then drifted away from him and into marriage with Tom Buchanan.
The Great Gatsby: Chapter 8
"'Don't do it today,' Gatsby answered. He turned to me apologetically. 'You know, old sport, I've never used that pool all summer" (146)
- Water in the pool is a symbol of rebirth
- This symbolizes the rebirth of Gatsby's ability to dream, as he's been stuck on his dream's with Daisy for quite some time
- Also shows that since he swims during a chilly time of weather it is his attempt to almost stop time and go back to the way things used to be with Daisy
- He had intended, probably, to take what he could and go - but now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail." (142)
- An illusion written by Fitzgerald to the medieval times where knights would endeavour crusades to recover an ancient relic known as the Holy Grail
- This relates to the theme of Gatsby being of chivalrous nature
- This was very uncommon at the time and shows how Gatsby differs from the others
The Eyes of of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg
- "God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me, but you can't fool God!" (152)
- George Wilson says the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg are the eyes of God
- He confronts Myrtle and says God is always watching (through the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg)
- He decided that the eyes represent a moral standard and that God demands revenge for the sin that Myrtle committed, her adulterous affair
- This eventually leads him to go find the owner of the car
Gatsby and Nick finish breakfast. As they walk together, the gardener tells Gatsby he's going to drain the pool. But Gatsby tells him to wait. He says he hasn't used it once all summer, and would like to. On his way out, Nick tells Gatsby that he's worth more than all of the "rotten crowd… put together." Gatsby smiles broadly.
At work that day, Nick falls asleep. The phone wakes him: it's Jordan. Their conversation quickly turns unpleasant and one of them hangs up on the other. Nick finds that he doesn't care.
Next, Nick relates what happened at Wilson's garage after Myrtle's death. Wilson spent all night talking to Michaelis about Myrtle, revealing that she had a lover and his suspicion that the man driving the car must have been her lover because she ran out to meet it. He told Michaelis how he had confronted her and told her she was sinning in the eyes of God.
It was near dawn at this point, and Wilson was staring into the eyes of T. J. Eckleburg when he mentioned God. Wilson says he has a way of finding out who was driving the car and later that morning disappeared from the garage.
Throughout this chapter, the narrative implicitly establishes a connection between the weather and the emotional atmosphere of the story. Just as the geographical settings of the book correspond to particular characters and themes, the weather corresponds to the plot. In the previous chapter, Gatsby’s tension-filled confrontation with Tom took place on the hottest day of the summer, beneath a fiery and intense sun.
Now that the fire has gone out of Gatsby’s life with Daisy’s decision to remain with Tom, the weather suddenly cools, and autumn creeps into the air—the gardener even wants to drain the pool to keep falling leaves from clogging the drains. In the same way that he clings to the hope of making Daisy love him the way she used to, he insists on swimming in the pool as though it were still summer. Both his downfall in Chapter 7 and his death in Chapter 8 result from his stark refusal to accept what he cannot control: the passage of time.
"They're a rotten crowd,' I shouted from across the lawn. 'You're worth the whole damn bunch out together.' I've always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from the beginning to the end. First he nodded polite, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we'd been ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time."
"For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent
of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras
which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and
suggestiveness of life in new tunes."
The climax of the novel, the accident that kills Myrtle, is foreshadowed by the conversation between Nick and Jordan about how bad driving can cause explosive violence. The end of the novel, of course, consists of violence against Gatsby. The choice of handgun as a weapon suggests Gatsby's shady past, but it is symbolic that it is his love affair, not his business life, that kills Gatsby in the end.
"She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby - nothing. He felt married to her, that was all."
This theme plays its cards in chapter 8. Nick, in the beginning of “The Great Gatsby”, appears to be a pure and innocent character. His decision to never drink, along with his calm and quiet demeanor at parties, leads the reader to see him as a reserved man. However, throughout the novel, this facade slowly fades away, and in this, Nick places many of his emotions on Gatsby. Nick’s admiration for Gatsby leads to his saying that Gatsby is worth “the whole damn bunch put together”. This statement shows the degradation of Nick’s character, from not judging others, to placing his his entire lot with only one. His loss of innocence. But still Nick Retains his humility.In chapter 8, his statement to Gatsby, “You’re worth the whole bunch put together” demonstrates Nick as a human being. Throughout the novel Nick was understanding and open to Gatsby’s pain and desire towards Daisy. Separate from his wealth and fortune, Nick was able to view him as an honorable man and his friend. In conclusion, Nick’s demonstrates growth in maturate and the ability to have an open mind.
Gatsby, still unwilling to give up his dream, tells Nick that he is sure Daisy will soon call him.. Even after Gatsby is needlessly shot by Wilson, who believes Gatsby to be Myrtle’s lover and murderer, Daisy does not telephone. She has casually and selfishly washed her hands of the whole matter. As a result, Gatsby, by the end of the book, is judged as a much better and more noble character than Daisy, Tom, or Jordan. In spite of his eccentricities and the corruption of his dream with money, Gatsby is seen as a tragic character who had a true purpose in life, a stark contrast to the meaningless lifestyle of the wealthy. Although his story is a tragedy, for both his dream and his life are literally shattered
Daisy is Tom's 23-year-old wife, Daisy is represented as Gatsby's version of the Holy Grail. Gatsby and Tom's battle for her escalates -- rather than choosing one or the other outright she acts helpless, seeming to ultimately remain with Tom because it is the easiest thing to do. In addition, she never acknowledges that she, not Gatsby, was driving when Myrtle was killed. As Nick characterizes them, "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" In chapter 8, Daisy continues as careless and bored, as she only temp Gatsby heart, even though she has no intention of going with him.
Chapter Eight provides the reader with an excellent time to analyze the character of Wilson. Obviously, Wilson is distressed about what happened to his wife, however, nothing can justify his taking the life of Gatsby. Wilson makes many statements throughout the chapter that contribute to the understanding of his character. Among them, "'God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me, but you can't fool God!' From his conversation with Michaelis, one can infer that Wilson was somewhat of a religious man, or at least believes in the elements of divine justice. We can also infer that Wilson was a vengeful man, based upon the way that he took the life of Gatsby. However, for Wilson, ends up losing his wife and quite possibly his sanity at the same time.
This quotation is describing the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy now that Gatsby finally has Daisy. The word "married" in this quote is describing Gatsby as together but not necessarily in love. Being "married" to someone can be a basic as an official document from the government or it could mean an everlasting love between two people. In this quote it is clear that Gatsby does not have a strong relationship with Daisy. The first part of the quote describing Daisy's "rich" and "full" life almost says that her life is complete without Gatsby in it. It could also mean that there is no place in Daisy's life for Gatsby. Either way, Gatsby is left with nothing of Daisy.]But he didn't despise himself and it didn't turn out as he had imagined. He had intended, probably, to take what he could and go - but now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail. He knew that Daisy was extraordinary, but he didn't realize just how extraordinary a 'nice' girl could be. She vanished into her rich house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby -nothing. He felt married to her, that was all (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 149)