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F. Scott Fitzgerald's


Chapter 9

       As we begin to summarize Fitzgerald's closing chapter to The Great Gatsby we see Nick tie together the lose ends of both the story and of Gatsby's life. Writing with a retrospective of two years, Nick admits that the day sticks vividly into his mind, the reporters on Gatsby's lawn, whose reports were often grotesque and untrue, and more importantly Gatsby's funeral. All accounts of Gatsby in the media were untrue, but people close to him also skewed the facts. In the investigation into the cause of Gatsby and Mr. Wilson's death, Catherine, Myrtle's sister, lied to the coroner and testified that her sister had never seen Gatsby and was completly happy in her relationship with her husband George. To prevent further investigation into the connections between Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, and Myrtle, the testimonies created the idea of Wilson as "deranged by grief".

   With Gatsby's death, many of the connections that had thrived in the summer were abruptly halted and changed. Nick calls Daisy to tell her about Gatsby's death, but finds that her and Tom have left with no destination or dathe to return. Nick finds that after Gatsby's death, all Gatsby's "friends" have abandoned him, and Nick searches desperatly to find someone who will miss Gatsby as he does. However, Nick's search doesnt progress, as he finds the day after Gatsby's death that Meyer Wolfsheim, a close companion to Gatsby, is too busy to come down and pay his respects to Gatsby. As Nick is rummaging through Gatsby's desk to find any of Gatsby's contacts that might share his remourse, the phone rings with a long distance call from Chicago. The voice over the line says that a connection has gone wrong and bonds were lost. This phone call ties Gatsby in to the corruption in business that was occuring during the Roaring Twenties, with gambling and gangs at a high. Once the caller learned of Gatsby's death, he abruptly hung up the phone.

   Three days after Gatsby's death, a telegram arrives from Henry C. Gatz, Gatsby's father. The telegram states that Mr. Gatz is on his way from Minnesota where Gatsby was from, and asks for the funeral to be postponed until he arrives. When Henry Gatz arrives Nick describes him as a helpless and dismayed man, and Gatz admits that he heard about his son's death in a Chicago newspaper. Mr. Gatz has a skewed perception of his son, and sees him how every father would like to see his son, blameless yet successful and with a long a prosperous future before him. After Mr. Gatz falls asleep, Klipspringer calls and Nick is relieved that another one of Gatsby's friends will be present at the funeral. Nick fears that the funeral will be more of a sight-seeing event, with people coming to see Gatsby, the man who was the center of many rumors, rather than to pay their respects. When Klipspringer reveals that he does not intend to go to the funeral, but called instead to retrive a pair of his tennis shoes, Nick hangs up immedietly in anger. Desperate to find another one of Gatsby's friends to attend the funeral, Nick goes out to personally retrive Meyer Wolfsheim himself.

   When Nick arrives at the building where Wolfsheim work, he finds on the door the company is named "The Swastika Holding Company". When Nick enters, he finds a large and empty room, and in it a secretary who tells him that Wolfsheim has gone to Chicago on business. Nick, however, knows that this is untrue, as he hears whistling inside. When Nick mentions that he is Mr. Carroway, she only tells him to leave his name. But with the mention of Gatsby's name, she goes into the back room and Wolfsheim emerges. Wolfsheim tells Nick of how he not only worked with Gatsby, but made him what he was today. Wolfsheim shows remorse for Gatsby's death, but as the underground business goes, he does not want to associate himself in Gatsby's death. After learning about the increasing connections between Gatsby and Wolfsheim's gambling practices, Nick returns to Gatsby's house to hear his father speak of the pride he had for his son. Mr. Gatz shows Nick one of Gatsby's book's from his childhood, which contained a schedule and daily resolves. Gatsby's schedule and resolves show his strives for success, which exemplifies the concept of a self-made man that was present during the period. This self-made man idea was Gatsby's ticket to success and the reason his father admired him for his efforts and ensuing successes.  As the day continues to close, it is finally time for Gatsby's funeral. Nick and Mr. Gatz wait at the windows for guest to arrive, but nobody but the minister arrives. The funeral procession lasts only three cars, one which is full of Gatsby's servants. Owl-Eyes, a man who had admired Gatsby in the past during his parties, arrives when the procession reaches the cemetary. In talking with Owl-Eyes, the theme of the loss of the American dream is encompassed in his remark that many used to go to Gatsby's house for parties, but no one turns out for his funeral.

   As the story comes to a close, Nick begins to look back on his life and his time in West Egg. Nick refers to his memories of West Egg as a painting by El Greco, without sharp lines but a jumble of grotesque images that make up the overall scene. After Gatsby's death, the friendship of the summer begins to fall apart, as Nick moves back to Chicago, with the East haunted due to the loss of Gatsby. Jordan, who Nick had been interested in, had become engaged to another man. Tom and Daisy continued their love despite their problems and money-squandering. As Nick leaves West Egg for the West, he decides to row from Gatsby's house to Daisy's, and in this action realizes just how close Gatsby truely was to fulfilling his dream.