The Great Gatsby Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis
Chapter 8 Summary
After the night of the car accident, Nick is unable to sleep. He hears a taxi arrive in Gatsby’s driveway, and walks over to meet his neighbor. He recommends that Gatsby should leave town, because the police will eventually identify his car.
Much of the rest of the novel returns to Gatsby’s youthful love affair with Daisy, and the power it held over him in the years to come. After he tells his story, one of Gatsby’s servants asks him if it’s okay to drain the pool. Gatsby tells him to wait, and repeats to Nick something he has said a couple of time already, that he has not used the pool all summer.
Gatsby and Nick say goodbye, for what turns out to be the last time. Nick tells Gatsby that he’s “worth more” than Tom, Daisy, or anyone else he’s associated with on West Egg. He tells the reader he’s glad he did this, despite a thorough disgust for Gatsby.
Nick goes to the city to work for a while. Meanwhile, momentous events are transpiring in the wake of Myrtle’s death. As it turns out, Wilson did not fall asleep after the shock he suffered, but became increasingly disturbed. Michaelis and others take turns watching him, but some time in the morning Wilson manages to slip away. Ultimately, he tracks down and shoots Gatsby, who is making use of his pool for the first time. Wilson then commits suicide.
What most believe is that Wilson wandered from garage to garage to figure out who owned car he saw the night before, but in the final chapter Nick learns a different truth.
Chapter 8: Analysis
Coming late in the novel, this chapter begins by filling in the missing pieces of Gatsby’s relationship to Daisy. It also brings Nick’s relationship with Gatsby full circle: Nick, more decidedly bourgeois in morals than either Gatsby or the Buchanans, is disgusted with them all: with the former for his desperate striving, and with the latter for their decadent corruption.
The extensive flashback in this novel brings into focus the concepts of nostalgia and purity. These have been…