Τρίτη, 14 Μαρτίου 2017

3. The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzerald

The Great Gatsby - O Υπέροχος Γκατσμπι είναι μυθιστόρημα γραμμένο το 1925 από τον Αμερικανό συγγραφέα Φράνσις Σκοτ ΦιτζέραλντΒρισκόμαστε στη Ν. Υόρκη τη δεκαετία του 1920. Είναι η εποχή της τζαζ, μια εποχή θαυμάτων, τέχνης, υπερβολής, όπου κυριαρχεί ακόμα η πεποίθηση ότι τα λεφτά μπορούν να αγοράσουν την ευτυχία. Ο Γκάτσμπυ είναι πάμπλουτος, μένει σε μια έπαυλη, έχει μπάτλερ, υπηρέτες, μια Ρολς-Ρόις και διοργανώνει θρυλικά πάρτι. Κανείς δεν ξέρει από πού έρχεται, ούτε πώς κατέχει μια τόσο μεγάλη περιουσία, ωστόσο όλοι γοητεύονται από το μυστηριώδες παρελθόν και τον τρόπο ζωής του. Εκείνος έχει κάτι ακόμα. Έναν απόλυτο, ανεκπλήρωτο, ρομαντικό έρωτα για την εύθραυστη αλλά πανέμορφη Νταίζη. Ο Γκάτσμπυ ξεχωρίζει. Και είναι τόσο αθεράπευτα ιδεαλιστής που γίνεται πραγματικά υπέροχος. 
THE GREAT GATSBY in PDF

Summary Chapter One

The narrator, Nick Carraway, begins the novel by commenting on himself: he says that he is very tolerant, and has a tendency to reserve judgment. Carraway comes from a prominent Midwestern family and graduated from Yale; therefore, he fears to be misunderstood by those who have not enjoyed the same advantages. He attempts to understand people on their own terms, rather than holding them up to his own personal standards.
Nick fought in World War I; after the war, he went through a period of restlessness. He eventually decided to go east, to New York City, in order to learn the bond business. At the novel's outset, in the summer of 1922, Carraway has just arrived in New York and is living in a part of Long Island known as West Egg. West Egg is home to the nouveau riche (those who have recently made money and lack an established social position), while neighboring East Egg is home to the insular, narrow-minded denizens of the old aristocracy. Nick's house is next door to Gatsby's enormous, vulgar Gothic mansion.
One night, he attends a dinner party in East Egg; the party is given by Tom Buchanan and his wife, Daisy. Daisy is Nick's cousin, while Tom was Nick's classmate at Yale. Tom comes from a wealthy, established family, and was a much-feared football player while at Yale. A friend of Daisy's is also in attendance. This woman, whose name is Jordan Baker, makes her living as a professional golfer. She has a frigid, boyish beauty and affects an air of extreme boredom.
Tom dominates the conversation at dinner; he wishes to propound ideas he has found in a book entitled "The Rise of the Colored Empires." This book espouses racist and white supremacist ideas, to which Tom wholeheartedly subscribes.The dinner is interrupted several times, however, by the ringing telephone. Tom's mistress calls repeatedly to speak with him, causing him to leave the table several times. At one point Daisy follows after Tom and the couple quarrel.
Jordan Baker idly informs Nick that Tom's phone call is from his lover in New York. After his awkward visit with the Buchanans, Carraway goes home to West Egg. There, he sees a handsome young man, Jay Gatsby, standing on his wide lawn, with his arms stretched out to the sea. He appears to be reaching for a faraway green light, which may mark the end of a dock.
We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.

The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor............................................................................................................................................
“You make me feel uncivilized, Daisy,” I confessed on my second glass of corky but rather impressive claret. “Can’t you talk about crops or something?”
I meant nothing in particular by this remark, but it was taken up in an unexpected way.
“Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard?”
“Why, no,” I answered, rather surprised by his tone.
“Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”
“Tom’s getting very profound,” said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. “He reads deep books with long words in them. What was that word we ——”
..........................................................................................................................................
“It’ll show you how I’ve gotten to feel about — things. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘all right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
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Summary Chapter two 
Nick is taking the train to New York with Tom . He starts by describing an area he calls a valley of ashes. It is an area where ashes from coal burning furnaces are deposited. Everything is gray and lifeless, even the people who work and live in the area. Nick describes an old billboard for an optometrist, Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. The billboard features a pair of giant eyes that seem to be gazing down on the people below. This billboard is an important feature of the novel, and is intended to suggest that God is watching this area.

As the train slows down in the Valley, Tom announces that they are getting off so that Nick can meet his mistress. Nick explains that everyone in New York knows about Tom's mistress and that Tom makes no effort at all to keep it a secret that he is cheating on his wife. The two man leave the train and walk to a car repair garage. The owner, George Wilson, seems to know Tom and asks him about a car he may be selling and other business matters. Wilson's wife, Myrtle, is Tom's mistress. She is in her mid-thirties, plump or fleshy, and a bit loud. Tom manages to tell Myrtle that he wants to see her, without Wilson finding out. Nick and Tom leave the garage and get back on a train. Myrtle lies to her husband, telling him she is going to visit her sister and also gets on the train.



Once they get into New York, Nick learns that Tom keeps an apartment for Myrtle. Myrtle calls her sister and some friends and a liquor-fueled party develops in the apartment. Nick, Tom, Myrtle, Myrtle's sister Catherine, and Myrtle's neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. McKee spend the afternoon drinking alcohol and becoming intoxicated. The group gossips about Jay Gatsby: Catherine claims that he is somehow related to Kaiser Wilhelm, the much-despised ruler of Germany during World War I. Myrtle grows combative and, while arguing with Tom about his wife, begins to show "Daisy" as loud as she can. Tom hits her, breaking her nose. The guests leave, and the chapter ends with Tom heading back home. 
Summary Chapter three
Nick describes the elaborate party preparations that go on at his neighbor, Gatsby's house every week. For example, cases of oranges are delivered, caterers appear and set up elaborate decorations and tables of food, and a huge bar is installed. This last detail is particularly interesting because the novel is set during Prohibition, a time in the United States when buying and selling alcohol was illegal.

Nick finally receives an invitation to one of Gatsby's parties. He is very impressed that he is one of the few people at the party to have been formally invited. He learns that most people simply arrive at Gatsby's house, expecting there to be a party in progress.

Once he arrives at the party, Nick spends quite a bit of time trying to find Gatsby. No one seems to know Gatsby, even though they are all guests in his home. Nick unexpectedly runs into Jordan Baker, Daisy's friend whom he met at the dinner party in Chapter 1. He and Jordan spend time together and overhear and share several rumors they and others have heard about Gatsby. There are rumors that Gatsby killed a man and that he is a bootlegger, or someone who produces and markets alcohol illegally.

Nick strikes up a conversation with a man, and after a while realizes he is actually talking to his host, Jay Gatsby. He is embarrassed to have not recognized him, but Gatsby puts him at ease, and invites him to go up in his hydroplane in the morning. Gatsby asks Jordan if he can speak with her privately. While he waits for Jordan, Nick wanders into Gatsby's library and meets a man who notes how impressive Gatsby's efforts to project a certain image are. The books in the library are real. They have never been read, but the man is impressed that Gatsby went to the trouble of buying real books.

When Jordan returns to Nick, she won't tell him what they discussed, but does reveal that is "the most amazing thing." Jordan asks Nick to come and see her at her aunt's house before leaving with the friends she arrived with. Nick says good night to Gatsby and walks home, noting a drunken party that has put their car in a ditch near Gatsby's house.

Nick ends the chapter buy describing some of the other things he's done in the summer: he's worked, made friends with some of the other clerks, and had a short affair with a girl from work, until her brother started giving him dirty looks. He spent time at the Yale Club and at the library. He also spent some time trying to learn more about Jordan Baker, and discovered that she had been accused of cheating at golf, and that she was actually quite dishonest.

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.......................................................................
 I turned again to my new acquaintance. “This is an unusual party for me. I haven’t even seen the host. I live over there ——” I waved my hand at the invisible hedge in the distance, “and this man Gatsby sent over his chauffeur with an invitation.” For a moment he looked at me as if he failed to understand.
“I’m Gatsby,” he said suddenly.
“What!” I exclaimed. “Oh, I beg your pardon.”
“I thought you knew, old sport. I’m afraid I’m not a very good host.”

He smiled understandingly — much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced — or seemed to face — the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey. Precisely at that point it vanished — and I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd. Some time before he introduced himself I’d got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care....................................................................................
“The piece is known,” he concluded lustily, “as Vladimir Tostoff’s Jazz History of the World.”
The nature of Mr. Tostoff’s composition eluded me, because just as it began my eyes fell on Gatsby, standing alone on the marble steps and looking from one group to another with approving eyes. His tanned skin was drawn attractively tight on his face and his short hair looked as though it were trimmed every day. I could see nothing sinister about him. I wondered if the fact that he was not drinking helped to set him off from his guests, for it seemed to me that he grew more correct as the fraternal hilarity increased. When the Jazz History of the World was over, girls were putting their heads on men’s shoulders in a puppyish, convivial way, girls were swooning backward playfully into men’s arms, even into groups, knowing that some one would arrest their falls — but no one swooned backward on Gatsby, and no French bob touched Gatsby’s shoulder, and no singing quartets were formed with Gatsby’s head for one link..............................................................

Summary Chapter 4
At a Sunday morning party at Gatsby's, Nick hears further gossip about Gatsby from a group of foolish young women. They say that he is a bootlegger who killed a man who discovered that he was nephew to von Hindenburg and second cousin to the devil. One morning, Gatsby invites Nick to lunch in the city. He proudly displays his Rolls-Royce, then abruptly asks Nick what he thinks of him. Nick is understandably evasive. Gatsby responds to his reticence by giving Nick an account of his past. His story, however, is highly improbable. Though he claims to descend from a prominent Midwestern family, when Nick asks him which Midwestern city he comes from, Gatsby hesitates, then says "San Francisco." He rattles off an absurdly long list of accomplishments: he claims to have studied at Oxford and lived in all of the capitals of Europe; then he enlisted in the war effort, where he was rapidly promoted to major and decorated by every Allied government, including Montenegro. He pulls out a photograph of himself in Oxford cricket whites, as well as a medal awarded by the government of Montenegro, in order to corroborate his story. They drive very fast through the valley of ashes; when Gatsby is stopped for speeding, he flashes a white card at the policeman. The policeman apologizes profusely and does not give Gatsby a ticket.
At lunch, Gatsby introduces Carraway to Meyer Wolfsheim, a disreputable character who proudly calls their attention to his cufflinks, which are made from human molars. Wolfsheim is an infamous gambler, and claims responsibility for fixing the 1919 World Series. Nick begins to suspect Gatsby of underworld dealings, due to his association with the sinister Wolfsheim.
They happen to run into Tom Buchanan, and Nick introduces him to Gatsby. Gatsby appears highly uncomfortable in Tom's presence and quickly leaves without giving an explanation.
During Nick's next encounter with Jordan Baker, she finally tells him her remarkable news: Gatsby is in love with Daisy Buchanan. Back in 1917, when Daisy was eighteen and Jordan sixteen, the two had been volunteers with the Red Cross. Though all the officers at the military base had courted Daisy, she fell passionately in love with a young lieutenant named Jay Gatsby. Though she had promised to wait for Gatsby's return, she accepted Tom Buchanan's proposal of marriage while Gatsby was still away at war. The night before her wedding, Daisy suddenly realized the enormity of her mistake; she became hysterical and drank herself.
According to Jordan, Gatsby bought his house in West Egg just in order to be close to Daisy. It is at this moment that Nick realizes that the green light, toward which he saw Gatsby so plaintively gesturing, is the light that marks the end of the Buchanans' dock. Jordan informs Nick that Gatsby wants him to arrange a reunion between himself and Daisy.

That was nineteen-seventeen. By the next year I had a few beaux myself, and I began to play in tournaments, so I didn’t see Daisy very often. She went with a slightly older crowd — when she went with anyone at all. Wild rumors were circulating about her — how her mother had found her packing her bag one winter night to go to New York and say good-by to a soldier who was going overseas. She was effectually prevented, but she wasn’t on speaking terms with her family for several weeks. After that she didn’t play around with the soldiers any more, but only with a few flat-footed, short-sighted young men in town, who couldn’t get into the army at all.
By the next autumn she was gay again, gay as ever. She had a debut after the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to a man from New Orleans. In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Muhlbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
I was bridesmaid. I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress — and as drunk as a monkey. She had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other.
“’Gratulate me,” she muttered. “Never had a drink before, but oh how I do enjoy it.”
“What’s the matter, Daisy?”
I was scared, I can tell you; I’d never seen a girl like that before.
“Here, deares’.” She groped around in a waste-basket she had with her on the bed and pulled out the string of pearls. “Take ’em down-stairs and give ’em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine. Say: ‘Daisy’s change’ her mine!’.”
She began to cry — she cried and cried. I rushed out and found her mother’s maid, and we locked the door and got her into a cold bath. She wouldn’t let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her and squeezed it up into a wet ball, and only let me leave it in the soap-dish when she saw that it was coming to pieces like snow.
But she didn’t say another word. We gave her spirits of ammonia and put ice on her forehead and hooked her back into her dress, and half an hour later, when we walked out of the room, the pearls were around her neck and the incident was over. Next day at five o’clock she married Tom Buchanan without so much as a shiver, and started off on a three months’ trip to the South Seas.
I saw them in Santa Barbara when they came back, and I thought I’d never seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for a minute she’d look around uneasily, and say: “Where’s Tom gone?” and wear the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in the door. She used to sit on the sand with his head in her lap by the hour, rubbing her fingers over his eyes and looking at him with unfathomable delight. It was touching to see them together — it made you laugh in a hushed, fascinated way. That was in August. A week after I left Santa Barbara Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura road one night, and ripped a front wheel off his car. The girl who was with him got into the papers, too, because her arm was broken — she was one of the chambermaids in the Santa Barbara Hotel.
The next April Daisy had her little girl, and they went to France for a year. I saw them one spring in Cannes, and later in Deauville, and then they came back to Chicago to settle down. Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn’t drink. It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care. Perhaps Daisy never went in for amour at all — and yet there’s something in that voice of hers. . . .

Well, about six weeks ago, she heard the name Gatsby for the first time in years. It was when I asked you — do you remember? — if you knew Gatsby in West Egg. After you had gone home she came into my room and woke me up, and said: “What Gatsby?” and when I described him — I was half asleep — she said in the strangest voice that it must be the man she used to know. It wasn’t until then that I connected this Gatsby with the officer in her white car............................................................................................................................
“It was a strange coincidence,” I said.
“But it wasn’t a coincidence at all.”
“Why not?”
“Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”
Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.
“He wants to know,” continued Jordan, “if you’ll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over.”
The modesty of the demand shook me. He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths — so that he could “come over” some afternoon to a stranger’s garden.
“Did I have to know all this before he could ask such a little thing?”
“He’s afraid, he’s waited so long. He thought you might be offended. You see, he’s a regular tough underneath it all.”
Something worried me.
“Why didn’t he ask you to arrange a meeting?”
“He wants her to see his house,” she explained. “And your house is right next door.”
“Oh!”
“I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night,” went on Jordan, “but she never did. Then he began asking people casually if they knew her, and I was the first one he found. It was that night he sent for me at his dance, and you should have heard the elaborate way he worked up to it. Of course, I immediately suggested a luncheon in New York — and I thought he’d go mad:
“‘I don’t want to do anything out of the way!’ he kept saying. ‘I want to see her right next door.’
“When I said you were a particular friend of Tom’s, he started to abandon the whole idea. He doesn’t know very much about Tom, though he says he’s read a Chicago paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy’s name.”
It was dark now, and as we dipped under a little bridge I put my arm around Jordan’s golden shoulder and drew her toward me and asked her to dinner. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking of Daisy and Gatsby any more, but of this clean, hard, limited person, who dealt in universal scepticism, and who leaned back jauntily just within the circle of my arm. A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
“And Daisy ought to have something in her life,” murmured Jordan to me.
“Does she want to see Gatsby?”
“She’s not to know about it. Gatsby doesn’t want her to know. You’re just supposed to invite her to tea.”
We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninth Street, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park. Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs, and so I drew up the girl beside me, tightening my arms. Her wan, scornful mouth smiled, and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my face...........................................................................
Summary Chapter 5
One night, Gatsby waylays Nick and nervously asks him if he would like to take a swim in his pool. When Nick refuses, he offers him a trip to Coney Island. Nick, initially baffled by Gatsby's solicitousness, realizes that he is anxiously waiting for Nick to arrange his meeting with Daisy. Nick agrees to do so. Gatsby, almost wild with joy, responds by offering him a job, a "confidential sort of thing". Nick is somewhat insulted that Gatsby wishes to reimburse him for his help, and declines Gatsby's offer.
It rains on the day that Gatsby and Daisy are to meet, and Gatsby becomes extremely apprehensive. The meeting takes place at Nick's house and, initially, their conversation is stilted and awkward. They are all inexplicably embarrassed; when Gatsby clumsily knocks over a clock, Nick tells him that he's behaving like a little boy. Nick leaves the couple alone for a few minutes. When he returns, they seem luminously happy, as though they have just concluded an embrace. There are tears of happiness on Daisy's cheeks.
They make their way over to Gatsby's mansion, of which Gatsby proceeds to give them a carefully rehearsed tour. Gatsby shows Daisy newspaper clippings detailing his exploits. She is overwhelmed by them, and by the opulence of his possessions. When he shows her his vast collection of imported shirts, she begins to weep tears of joy. Nick wonders whether Gatsby is disappointed with Daisy; it seems that he has concieved of her as a goddess, and ­ though Daisy is alluring, she cannot possibly live up to so grandiose an ideal.
Gatsby has Ewing Klipspringer, a mysterious man who seems to live at his mansion, play "Ain't We Got Fun" (a popular song of the time) for himself and Daisy:
As Klipspringer plays, Gatsby and Daisy draw closer and closer together. Nick, realizing that his presence has become superfluous, quietly leaves.

He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs.
His bedroom was the simplest room of all — except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold. Daisy took the brush with delight, and smoothed her hair, whereupon Gatsby sat down and shaded his eyes and began to laugh.
“It’s the funniest thing, old sport,” he said hilariously. “I can’t — When I try to ——”
He had passed visibly through two states and was entering upon a third. After his embarrassment and his unreasoning joy he was consumed with wonder at her presence. He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an overwound clock.
Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high.
“I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall.”
He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.

“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”............................
Summary Chapter 6
A reporter, inspired by the feverish gossip about Gatsby circulating in New York, comes to West Egg in hopes of obtaining the true story of his past from him. Though Gatsby himself turns the man away, Nick interrupts the narrative to relate Gatsby's past (the truth of which he only learned much later) to the reader.
His real name is James Gatz, and he was born to an impoverished farmer in North Dakota, rather than into wealth in San Francisco, as he claimed. He had his named legally changed to Jay Gatsby at the age of seventeen. Though he did attend St Olaf's, a small college in Minnesota, he dropped out after two weeks, as he could not bear working as a caretaker in order to pay his tuition. Gatsby's dreams of self-improvement were only intensified by his relationship with Dan Cody, a man whom he met while working as a fisherman on Lake Superior. Cody was then fifty, a self-made millionaire who had made his fortune during the Yukon gold rush. Cody took Gatsby in and made the young man his personal assistant. On their subsequent voyages to the West Indies and the Barbary Coast, Gatsby became even more passionately covetous of wealth and privilege. When Cody died, Gatsby inherited $25,000; he was unable to claim it, however, due to the malicious intervention of Cody's mistress, Ella Kaye. Afterward, Gatsby vowed to become a success in his own right.
Several weeks pass without Nick's seeing Gatsby. Upon visiting Gatsby at his mansion, Nick is shocked to find Tom Buchanan there. Tom has unexpectedly stopped for a drink at Gatsby's after an afternoon of horseback riding; he is accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Sloane, an insufferable East Egg couple who exemplify everything that is repellent about the "old rich." Gatsby invites the group to supper, but Mrs. Sloane hastily refuses; perhaps ashamed of her own rudeness, she then half-heartedly offers Gatsby and Nick an invitation to dine at her home. Nick, recognizing the insincerity of her offer, declines; Gatsby accepts, though it is unclear whether his gesture is truly oblivious or defiant.
Tom pointedly complains about the crazy people that Daisy meets, presumably referring to Gatsby. Throughout the awkward afternoon, he is contemptuous of Gatsby, ­ particularly mocking his acceptance of Mrs. Sloane's invitation.
The following Saturday, Tom and Daisy attend one of Gatsby's parties. Tom, predictably, is unpleasant and rude throughout the evening. After the Buchanans leave, Gatsby is crestfallen at the thought that Daisy did not have a good time; he does not yet know that Tom badly upset her by telling her that Gatsby made his fortune in bootlegging.
Nick realizes that Gatsby wants Daisy to tell Tom that she has never loved him. Nick gently informs Gatsby that he cannot ask too much of Daisy, and says, "You can't repeat the past." Gatsby spiritedly replies: "Of course you can!"

I stayed late that night, Gatsby asked me to wait until he was free, and I lingered in the garden until the inevitable swimming party had run up, chilled and exalted, from the black beach, until the lights were extinguished in the guest-rooms overhead. When he came down the steps at last the tanned skin was drawn unusually tight on his face, and his eyes were bright and tired.
“She didn’t like it,” he said immediately.
“Of course she did.”
“She didn’t like it,” he insisted. “She didn’t have a good time.”
He was silent, and I guessed at his unutterable depression.
“I feel far away from her,” he said. “It’s hard to make her understand.”
“You mean about the dance?”
“The dance?” He dismissed all the dances he had given with a snap of his fingers. “Old sport, the dance is unimportant.”
He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house — just as if it were five years ago.
“And she doesn’t understand,” he said. “She used to be able to understand. We’d sit for hours ——”
He broke off and began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers.
“I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past.”
“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”
He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
“I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,” he said, nodding determinedly. “She’ll see.”
He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was. . . .
. . . One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees — he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.
His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something — an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man’s, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound, and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever...........................................................................................................................................
Summary Chapter 7
At this point in the novel, when curiosity about Gatsby has reached a fever pitch, he ceases to throw his Saturday night parties. The only purpose of the parties was to solicit Daisy's attention; now that they are reunited, the parties have lost their purpose.
Nick, surprised that the revelry has stopped, goes over to make certain that Gatsby is all right. He learns that Gatsby has fired all of his former servants and replaced them with a number of disreputable characters. Daisy has begun visiting him in the afternoons, and Gatsby wants to make certain that she will not be exposed to any of the gossip about his life and his past.
On the hottest day of the summer, Daisy invites Gatsby, Nick, and Jordan to lunch. Daisy has the nanny exhibit her infant daughter, who is dressed in white, to the assembled guests. Gatsby seems almost bewildered by the child. He has been, until this moment, entirely unable to conceive of Daisy as a mother. Tom is full of his usual bluster, remarking that he read that the sun is growing hotter; soon, the earth will fall into it, and that will be the end of the world.
During the luncheon, Tom realizes that Gatsby and his wife are romantically involved. Gatsby stares at Daisy with undisguised passion, and Daisy recklessly remarks, within earshot of Tom, that she loves Gatsby.
Tom, unsettled, goes inside to get a drink, and in his absence Nick remarks that Daisy has an indiscreet voice. When Nick goes on to say that Daisy's voice also has a seductive quality, Gatsby blurts that her voice is "full of money."
Tom, desperate to pick a fight with Gatsby, forces the entire party to drive into New York. Gatsby and Daisy drive in Tom's car, while Nick, Jordan, and Tom drive in Gatsby's. On the way, Tom furiously tells Nick that Gatsby is no Oxford man. They stop for gas at Wilson's garage. Wilson tells them that he's decided to move his wife out west, since he recently learned that she's been having an affair; he does not yet, however, know who her lover is. Upon leaving the garage, they see Myrtle peering down at the car from her window. She stares at Jordan with an expression of jealous terror, since she assumes that Jordan is Tom's wife.
Feeling that both his wife and mistress are slipping away from him, Tom grows panicked and impatient. To escape from the summer heat, the group takes a suite at the Plaza Hotel. There, Tom finally confronts Gatsby, mocking his use of the phrase "old sport." Tom accuses Gatsby of never having been at Oxford; Gatsby replies that he did, in fact, study there for five months after the end of the war. Tom regards Daisy's affair with the lower-class Gatsby as one of the harbingers of the decline of civilization. Soon, Tom hisses, there will even be intermarriage between the races. Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy doesn't love him, and has never loved him; he informs him that he's "not going to take care of Daisy anymore." Tom calls Gatsby a "common swindler" and reveals that he has made his fortune in bootlegging. Daisy, in her shallowness and snobbery, sides with Tom, and refuses Gatsby when he pleads with her to say that she has never loved her husband. As the confrontation draws to a close, Nick realizes that today is his thirtieth birthday.
In the valley of ashes, Nick, Jordan and Tom find that someone has been struck and killed by an automobile. The young Greek, Michaelis, who runs the coffee house next to Wilson's garage, tells them that the victim was Myrtle Wilson. She ran out into the road during a fight with her husband; there, she was struck by an opulent yellow car. Nick realizes that the fatal car must have been Gatsby's Rolls-Royce. Tom presumes that Gatsby was the driver.

“But it’s so hot,” insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, “and everything’s so confused. Let’s all go to town!”
Her voice struggled on through the heat, beating against it, molding its senselessness into forms.
“I’ve heard of making a garage out of a stable,” Tom was saying to Gatsby, “but I’m the first man who ever made a stable out of a garage.”
“Who wants to go to town?” demanded Daisy insistently. Gatsby’s eyes floated toward her. “Ah,” she cried, “you look so cool.”
Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space. With an effort she glanced down at the table.
“You always look so cool,” she repeated.
She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded. His mouth opened a little, and he looked at Gatsby, and then back at Daisy as if he had just recognized her as some one he knew a long time ago.
“You resemble the advertisement of the man,” she went on innocently. “You know the advertisement of the man ——”
“All right,” broke in Tom quickly, “I’m perfectly willing to go to town. Come on — we’re all going to town.”
He got up, his eyes still flashing between Gatsby and his wife. No one moved.
“Come on!” His temper cracked a little. “What’s the matter, anyhow? If we’re going to town, let’s start.”

His hand, trembling with his effort at self-control, bore to his lips the last of his glass of ale. Daisy’s voice got us to our feet and out on to the blazing gravel drive..........................
...............................................................................................................................................
“I can’t say anything in his house, old sport.”
“She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked. “It’s full of ——” I hesitated.
“Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.
That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money — that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. . . . high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. . . .
Tom came out of the house wrapping a quart bottle in a towel, followed by Daisy and Jordan wearing small tight hats of metallic cloth and carrying light capes over their arms.
“Shall we all go in my car?” suggested Gatsby. He felt the hot, green leather of the seat. “I ought to have left it in the shade.”
“Is it standard shift?” demanded Tom.
“Yes.”
“Well, you take my coupe and let me drive your car to town.”
The suggestion was distasteful to Gatsby.
“I don’t think there’s much gas,” he objected.
“Plenty of gas,” said Tom boisterously. He looked at the gauge. “And if it runs out I can stop at a drug-store. You can buy anything at a drug-store nowadays.”
A pause followed this apparently pointless remark. Daisy looked at Tom frowning, and an indefinable expression, at once definitely unfamiliar and vaguely recognizable, as if I had only heard it described in words, passed over Gatsby’s face.
“Come on, Daisy,” said Tom, pressing her with his hand toward Gatsby’s car. “I’ll take you in this circus wagon.”
He opened the door, but she moved out from the circle of his arm.
“You take Nick and Jordan. We’ll follow you in the coupe.”
She walked close to Gatsby, touching his coat with her hand. Jordan and Tom and I got into the front seat of Gatsby’s car, Tom pushed the unfamiliar gears tentatively, and we shot off into the oppressive heat, leaving them out of sight behind.
“Did you see that?” demanded Tom.
“See what?”
He looked at me keenly, realizing that Jordan and I must have known all along.
“You think I’m pretty dumb, don’t you?” he suggested. “Perhaps I am, but I have a — almost a second sight, sometimes, that tells me what to do. Maybe you don’t believe that, but science ——”
He paused. The immediate contingency overtook him, pulled him back from the edge of the theoretical abyss.
“I’ve made a small investigation of this fellow,” he continued. “I could have gone deeper if I’d known ——”
“Do you mean you’ve been to a medium?” inquired Jordan humorously.
“What?” Confused, he stared at us as we laughed. “A medium?”
“About Gatsby.”
“About Gatsby! No, I haven’t. I said I’d been making a small investigation of his past.”
“And you found he was an Oxford man,” said Jordan helpfully.
“An Oxford man!” He was incredulous. “Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit.”
“Nevertheless he’s an Oxford man.”
“Oxford, New Mexico,” snorted Tom contemptuously, “or something like that.”.............................................................................................................................................
“I can’t say anything in his house, old sport.”
“She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked. “It’s full of ——” I hesitated.
“Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.
That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money — that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. . . . high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. . . .
Tom came out of the house wrapping a quart bottle in a towel, followed by Daisy and Jordan wearing small tight hats of metallic cloth and carrying light capes over their arms.
“Shall we all go in my car?” suggested Gatsby. He felt the hot, green leather of the seat. “I ought to have left it in the shade.”
“Is it standard shift?” demanded Tom.
“Yes.”
“Well, you take my coupe and let me drive your car to town.”
The suggestion was distasteful to Gatsby.
“I don’t think there’s much gas,” he objected.
“Plenty of gas,” said Tom boisterously. He looked at the gauge. “And if it runs out I can stop at a drug-store. You can buy anything at a drug-store nowadays.”
A pause followed this apparently pointless remark. Daisy looked at Tom frowning, and an indefinable expression, at once definitely unfamiliar and vaguely recognizable, as if I had only heard it described in words, passed over Gatsby’s face.
“Come on, Daisy,” said Tom, pressing her with his hand toward Gatsby’s car. “I’ll take you in this circus wagon.”
He opened the door, but she moved out from the circle of his arm.
“You take Nick and Jordan. We’ll follow you in the coupe.”
She walked close to Gatsby, touching his coat with her hand. Jordan and Tom and I got into the front seat of Gatsby’s car, Tom pushed the unfamiliar gears tentatively, and we shot off into the oppressive heat, leaving them out of sight behind.
“Did you see that?” demanded Tom.
“See what?”
He looked at me keenly, realizing that Jordan and I must have known all along.
“You think I’m pretty dumb, don’t you?” he suggested. “Perhaps I am, but I have a — almost a second sight, sometimes, that tells me what to do. Maybe you don’t believe that, but science ——”
He paused. The immediate contingency overtook him, pulled him back from the edge of the theoretical abyss.
“I’ve made a small investigation of this fellow,” he continued. “I could have gone deeper if I’d known ——”
“Do you mean you’ve been to a medium?” inquired Jordan humorously.
“What?” Confused, he stared at us as we laughed. “A medium?”
“About Gatsby.”
“About Gatsby! No, I haven’t. I said I’d been making a small investigation of his past.”
“And you found he was an Oxford man,” said Jordan helpfully.
“An Oxford man!” He was incredulous. “Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit.”
“Nevertheless he’s an Oxford man.”
“Oxford, New Mexico,” snorted Tom contemptuously, “or something like that.”
.............................................................................................................................................
The young Greek, Michaelis, who ran the coffee joint beside the ashheaps was the principal witness at the inquest. He had slept through the heat until after five, when he strolled over to the garage, and found George Wilson sick in his office — really sick, pale as his own pale hair and shaking all over. Michaelis advised him to go to bed, but Wilson refused, saying that he’d miss a lot of business if he did. While his neighbor was trying to persuade him a violent racket broke out overhead.
“I’ve got my wife locked in up there,” explained Wilson calmly. “She’s going to stay there till the day after to-morrow, and then we’re going to move away.”
Michaelis was astonished; they had been neighbors for four years, and Wilson had never seemed faintly capable of such a statement. Generally he was one of these worn-out men: when he wasn’t working, he sat on a chair in the doorway and stared at the people and the cars that passed along the road. When any one spoke to him he invariably laughed in an agreeable, colorless way. He was his wife’s man and not his own.
So naturally Michaelis tried to find out what had happened, but Wilson wouldn’t say a word — instead he began to throw curious, suspicious glances at his visitor and ask him what he’d been doing at certain times on certain days. Just as the latter was getting uneasy, some workmen came past the door bound for his restaurant, and Michaelis took the opportunity to get away, intending to come back later. But he didn’t. He supposed he forgot to, that’s all. When he came outside again, a little after seven, he was reminded of the conversation because he heard Mrs. Wilson’s voice, loud and scolding, down-stairs in the garage.
“Beat me!” he heard her cry. “Throw me down and beat me, you dirty little coward!”
A moment later she rushed out into the dusk, waving her hands and shouting — before he could move from his door the business was over.
The “death car,” as the newspapers called it, didn’t stop; it came out of the gathering darkness, wavered tragically for a moment, and then disappeared around the next bend. Michaelis wasn’t even sure of its color — he told the first policeman that it was light green. The other car, the one going toward New York, came to rest a hundred yards beyond, and its driver hurried back to where Myrtle Wilson, her life violently extinguished, knelt in the road and mingled her thick dark blood with the dust.
Michaelis and this man reached her first, but when they had torn open her shirtwaist, still damp with perspiration, they saw that her left breast was swinging loose like a flap, and there was no need to listen for the heart beneath. The mouth was wide open and ripped at the corners, as though she had choked a little in giving up the tremendous vitality she had stored so long.................................................................................................................
“I thought so; I told Daisy I thought so. It’s better that the shock should all come at once. She stood it pretty well.”
He spoke as if Daisy’s reaction was the only thing that mattered.
“I got to West Egg by a side road,” he went on, “and left the car in my garage. I don’t think anybody saw us, but of course I can’t be sure.”
I disliked him so much by this time that I didn’t find it necessary to tell him he was wrong.
“Who was the woman?” he inquired.
“Her name was Wilson. Her husband owns the garage. How the devil did it happen?”
“Well, I tried to swing the wheel ——” He broke off, and suddenly I guessed at the truth.
“Was Daisy driving?”
“Yes,” he said after a moment, “but of course I’ll say I was. You see, when we left New York she was very nervous and she thought it would steady her to drive — and this woman rushed out at us just as we were passing a car coming the other way. It all happened in a minute, but it seemed to me that she wanted to speak to us, thought we were somebody she knew. Well, first Daisy turned away from the woman toward the other car, and then she lost her nerve and turned back. The second my hand reached the wheel I felt the shock — it must have killed her instantly.”...................................................................................................
Summary Chapter 8
That night, Nick finds himself unable to sleep, since the terrible events of the day have greatly unsettled him. Wracked by anxiety, he hurries to Gatsby's mansion shortly before dawn. He advises Gatsby to leave Long Island until the scandal of Myrtle's death has quieted down. Gatsby refuses, as he cannot bring himself to leave Daisy: he tells Nick that he spent the entire night in front of the Buchanans' mansion, just to ensure that Daisy was safe. He tells Nick that Tom did not try to harm her, and that Daisy did not come out to meet him, though he was standing on her lawn in full moonlight.
Gatsby, in his misery, tells Nick the story of his first meeting with Daisy. He does so even though it patently gives the lie to his earlier account of his past. Gatsby and Daisy first met in Louisville in 1917; Gatsby was instantly smitten with her wealth, her beauty, and her youthful innocence. Realizing that Daisy would spurn him if she knew of his poverty, Gatsby determined to lie to her about his past and his circumstances. Before he left for the war, Daisy promised to wait for him; the two then slept together, as though to seal their pact. Of course, Daisy did not wait; she married Tom, who was her social equal and the choice of her parents.
Realizing that it has grown late, Nick says goodbye to Gatsby. As he is walking away, he turns back and shouts that Gatsby is "worth the whole damn bunch [of the Buchanans and their East Egg friends] put together."
The scene shifts from West Egg to the valley of ashes, where George Wilson has sought refuge with Michaelis. It is from the latter that Nick later learns what happened in the aftermath of Myrtle's death. George Wilson tells Michaelis that he confronted Myrtle with the evidence of her affair and told her that, although she could conceal her sin from her husband, she could not hide it from the eyes of God. As the sun rises over the valley of ashes, Wilson is suddenly transfixed by the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg; he mistakes them for the eyes of God. Wilson assumes that the driver of the fatal car was Myrtle's lover, and decides to punish this man for his sins.
He seeks out Tom Buchanan, in the hope that Tom will know the driver's identity. Tom tells him that Gatsby was the driver. Wilson drives to Gatsby's mansion; there, he finds Gatsby floating in his pool, staring contemplatively at the sky. Wilson shoots Gatsby, and then turns the gun on himself.
It is Nick who finds Gatsby's body. He reflects that Gatsby died utterly disillusioned, having lost, in rapid succession, his lover and his dreams.

I didn’t want to go to the city. I wasn’t worth a decent stroke of work, but it was more than that — I didn’t want to leave Gatsby. I missed that train, and then another, before I could get myself away.
“I’ll call you up,” I said finally.
“Do, old sport.”
“I’ll call you about noon.”
We walked slowly down the steps.
“I suppose Daisy’ll call too.” He looked at me anxiously, as if he hoped I’d corroborate this.
“I suppose so.”
“Well, good-by.”
We shook hands and I started away. Just before I reached the hedge I remembered something and turned around.
“They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end. First he nodded politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we’d been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time. His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a bright spot of color against the white steps, and I thought of the night when I first came to his ancestral home, three months before. The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption — and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-by.
I thanked him for his hospitality. We were always thanking him for that — I and the others.

“Good-by,” I called. “I enjoyed breakfast, Gatsby.”.............................................................
Wilson’s glazed eyes turned out to the ashheaps, where small gray clouds took on fantastic shape and scurried here and there in the faint dawn wind.
“I spoke to her,” he muttered, after a long silence. “I told her she might fool me but she couldn’t fool God. I took her to the window.”— with an effort he got up and walked to the rear window and leaned with his face pressed against it ——” and I said ‘God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!’”
Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night.
“God sees everything,” repeated Wilson.
“That’s an advertisement,” Michaelis assured him. Something made him turn away from the window and look back into the room. But Wilson stood there a long time, his face close to the window pane, nodding into the twilight..................................................................
 Chapter 9 ( I have included the whole of it)
After two years I remember the rest of that day, and that night and the next day, only as an endless drill of police and photographers and newspaper men in and out of Gatsby’s front door. A rope stretched across the main gate and a policeman by it kept out the curious, but little boys soon discovered that they could enter through my yard, and there were always a few of them clustered open-mouthed about the pool. Someone with a positive manner, perhaps a detective, used the expression “madman” as he bent over Wilson’s body that afternoon, and the adventitious authority of his voice set the key for the newspaper reports next morning.
Most of those reports were a nightmare — grotesque, circumstantial, eager, and untrue. When Michaelis’s testimony at the inquest brought to light Wilson’s suspicions of his wife I thought the whole tale would shortly be served up in racy pasquinade — but Catherine, who might have said anything, didn’t say a word. She showed a surprising amount of character about it too — looked at the coroner with determined eyes under that corrected brow of hers, and swore that her sister had never seen Gatsby, that her sister was completely happy with her husband, that her sister had been into no mischief whatever. She convinced herself of it, and cried into her handkerchief, as if the very suggestion was more than she could endure. S. Wilson was reduced to a man “deranged by grief” in order that the case might remain in its simplist form. And it rested there.
But all this part of it seemed remote and unessential. I found myself on Gatsby’s side, and alone. From the moment I telephoned news of the catastrophe to West Egg village, every surmise about him, and every practical question, was referred to me. At first I was surprised and confused; then, as he lay in his house and didn’t move or breathe or speak, hour upon hour, it grew upon me that I was responsible, because no one else was interested — interested, I mean, with that intense personal interest to which every one has some vague right at the end.
I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him, called her instinctively and without hesitation. But she and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, and taken baggage with them.
“Left no address?”
“No.”
“Say when they’d be back?”
“No.”
“Any idea where they are? How I could reach them?”
“I don’t know. Can’t say.”
I wanted to get somebody for him. I wanted to go into the room where he lay and reassure him: “I’ll get somebody for you, Gatsby. Don’t worry. Just trust me and I’ll get somebody for you ——”
Meyer Wolfsheim’s name wasn’t in the phone book. The butler gave me his office address on Broadway, and I called Information, but by the time I had the number it was long after five, and no one answered the phone.
“Will you ring again?”
“I’ve rung them three times.”
“It’s very important.”
“Sorry. I’m afraid no one’s there.”
I went back to the drawing-room and thought for an instant that they were chance visitors, all these official people who suddenly filled it. But, as they drew back the sheet and looked at Gatsby with unmoved eyes, his protest continued in my brain:
“Look here, old sport, you’ve got to get somebody for me. You’ve got to try hard. I can’t go through this alone.”
Some one started to ask me questions, but I broke away and going up-stairs looked hastily through the unlocked parts of his desk — he’d never told me definitely that his parents were dead. But there was nothing — only the picture of Dan Cody, a token of forgotten violence, staring down from the wall.
Next morning I sent the butler to New York with a letter to Wolfsheim, which asked for information and urged him to come out on the next train. That request seemed superfluous when I wrote it. I was sure he’d start when he saw the newspapers, just as I was sure there’d be a wire from Daisy before noon — but neither a wire nor Mr. Wolfsheim arrived; no one arrived except more police and photographers and newspaper men. When the butler brought back Wolfsheim’s answer I began to have a feeling of defiance, of scornful solidarity between Gatsby and me against them all.
Dear Mr. Carraway. This has been one of the most terrible shocks of my life to me I hardly can believe it that it is true at all. Such a mad act as that man did should make us all think. I cannot come down now as I am tied up in some very important business and cannot get mixed up in this thing now. If there is anything I can do a little later let me know in a letter by Edgar. I hardly know where I am when I hear about a thing like this and am completely knocked down and out.
Yours truly Meyer Wolfshiem
and then hasty addenda beneath:
Let me know about the funeral etc. Do not know his family at all.
When the phone rang that afternoon and Long Distance said Chicago was calling I thought this would be Daisy at last. But the connection came through as a man’s voice, very thin and far away.
“This is Slagle speaking . . . ”
“Yes?” The name was unfamiliar.
“Hell of a note, isn’t it? Get my wire?”
“There haven’t been any wires.”
“Young Parke’s in trouble,” he said rapidly. “They picked him up when he handed the bonds over the counter. They got a circular from New York giving ’em the numbers just five minutes before. What d’you know about that, hey? You never can tell in these hick towns ——”
“Hello!” I interrupted breathlessly. “Look here — this isn’t Mr. Gatsby. Mr. Gatsby’s dead.”
There was a long silence on the other end of the wire, followed by an exclamation . . . then a quick squawk as the connection was broken.
I think it was on the third day that a telegram signed Henry C. Gatz arrived from a town in Minnesota. It said only that the sender was leaving immediately and to postpone the funeral until he came.
It was Gatsby’s father, a solemn old man, very helpless and dismayed, bundled up in a long cheap ulster against the warm September day. His eyes leaked continuously with excitement, and when I took the bag and umbrella from his hands he began to pull so incessantly at his sparse gray beard that I had difficulty in getting off his coat. He was on the point of collapse, so I took him into the music room and made him sit down while I sent for something to eat. But he wouldn’t eat, and the glass of milk spilled from his trembling hand.
“I saw it in the Chicago newspaper,” he said. “It was all in the Chicago newspaper. I started right away.”
“I didn’t know how to reach you.” His eyes, seeing nothing, moved ceaselessly about the room.
“It was a madman,” he said. “He must have been mad.”
“Wouldn’t you like some coffee?” I urged him.
“I don’t want anything. I’m all right now, Mr. ——”
“Carraway.”
“Well, I’m all right now. Where have they got Jimmy?” I took him into the drawing-room, where his son lay, and left him there. Some little boys had come up on the steps and were looking into the hall; when I told them who had arrived, they went reluctantly away.
After a little while Mr. Gatz opened the door and came out, his mouth ajar, his face flushed slightly, his eyes leaking isolated and unpunctual tears. He had reached an age where death no longer has the quality of ghastly surprise, and when he looked around him now for the first time and saw the height and splendor of the hall and the great rooms opening out from it into other rooms, his grief began to be mixed with an awed pride. I helped him to a bedroom up-stairs; while he took off his coat and vest I told him that all arrangements had been deferred until he came.
“I didn’t know what you’d want, Mr. Gatsby ——”
“Gatz is my name.”
“— Mr. Gatz. I thought you might want to take the body West.”
He shook his head.
“Jimmy always liked it better down East. He rose up to his position in the East. Were you a friend of my boy’s, Mr. —?”
“We were close friends.”
“He had a big future before him, you know. He was only a young man, but he had a lot of brain power here.”
He touched his head impressively, and I nodded.
“If he’d of lived, he’d of been a great man. A man like James J. Hill. He’d of helped build up the country.”
“That’s true,” I said, uncomfortably.
He fumbled at the embroidered coverlet, trying to take it from the bed, and lay down stiffly — was instantly asleep.
That night an obviously frightened person called up, and demanded to know who I was before he would give his name.
“This is Mr. Carraway,” I said.
“Oh!” He sounded relieved. “This is Klipspringer.” I was relieved too, for that seemed to promise another friend at Gatsby’s grave. I didn’t want it to be in the papers and draw a sightseeing crowd, so I’d been calling up a few people myself. They were hard to find.
“The funeral’s to-morrow,” I said. “Three o’clock, here at the house. I wish you’d tell anybody who’d be interested.”
“Oh, I will,” he broke out hastily. “Of course I’m not likely to see anybody, but if I do.”
His tone made me suspicious.
“Of course you’ll be there yourself.”
“Well, I’ll certainly try. What I called up about is ——”
“Wait a minute,” I interrupted. “How about saying you’ll come?”
“Well, the fact is — the truth of the matter is that I’m staying with some people up here in Greenwich, and they rather expect me to be with them to-morrow. In fact, there’s a sort of picnic or something. Of course I’ll do my very best to get away.”
I ejaculated an unrestrained “Huh!” and he must have heard me, for he went on nervously:
“What I called up about was a pair of shoes I left there. I wonder if it’d be too much trouble to have the butler send them on. You see, they’re tennis shoes, and I’m sort of helpless without them. My address is care of B. F. ——”
I didn’t hear the rest of the name, because I hung up the receiver.
After that I felt a certain shame for Gatsby — one gentleman to whom I telephoned implied that he had got what he deserved. However, that was my fault, for he was one of those who used to sneer most bitterly at Gatsby on the courage of Gatsby’s liquor, and I should have known better than to call him.
The morning of the funeral I went up to New York to see Meyer Wolfsheim; I couldn’t seem to reach him any other way. The door that I pushed open, on the advice of an elevator boy, was marked “The Swastika Holding Company,” and at first there didn’t seem to be any one inside. But when I’d shouted “hello” several times in vain, an argument broke out behind a partition, and presently a lovely Jewess appeared at an interior door and scrutinized me with black hostile eyes.
“Nobody’s in,” she said. “Mr. Wolfsheim’s gone to Chicago.”
The first part of this was obviously untrue, for someone had begun to whistle “The Rosary,” tunelessly, inside.
“Please say that Mr. Carraway wants to see him.”
“I can’t get him back from Chicago, can I?”
At this moment a voice, unmistakably Wolfsheim’s, called “Stella!” from the other side of the door.
“Leave your name on the desk,” she said quickly. “I’ll give it to him when he gets back.”
“But I know he’s there.”
She took a step toward me and began to slide her hands indignantly up and down her hips.
“You young men think you can force your way in here any time,” she scolded. “We’re getting sickantired of it. When I say he’s in Chicago, he’s in Chicago.”
I mentioned Gatsby.
“Oh — h!” She looked at me over again. “Will you just — What was your name?”
She vanished. In a moment Meyer Wolfsheim stood solemnly in the doorway, holding out both hands. He drew me into his office, remarking in a reverent voice that it was a sad time for all of us, and offered me a cigar.
“My memory goes back to when I first met him,” he said. “A young major just out of the army and covered over with medals he got in the war. He was so hard up he had to keep on wearing his uniform because he couldn’t buy some regular clothes. First time I saw him was when he come into Winebrenner’s poolroom at Forty-third Street and asked for a job. He hadn’t eat anything for a couple of days. ‘come on have some lunch with me,’ I sid. He ate more than four dollars’ worth of food in half an hour.”
“Did you start him in business?” I inquired.
“Start him! I made him.”
“Oh.”
“I raised him up out of nothing, right out of the gutter. I saw right away he was a fine-appearing, gentlemanly young man, and when he told me he was at Oggsford I knew I could use him good. I got him to join up in the American Legion and he used to stand high there. Right off he did some work for a client of mine up to Albany. We were so thick like that in everything.”— he held up two bulbous fingers ——” always together.”
I wondered if this partnership had included the World’s Series transaction in 1919.
“Now he’s dead,” I said after a moment. “You were his closest friend, so I know you’ll want to come to his funeral this afternoon.”
“I’d like to come.”
“Well, come then.”
The hair in his nostrils quivered slightly, and as he shook his head his eyes filled with tears.
“I can’t do it — I can’t get mixed up in it,” he said.
“There’s nothing to get mixed up in. It’s all over now.”
“When a man gets killed I never like to get mixed up in it in any way. I keep out. When I was a young man it was different — if a friend of mine died, no matter how, I stuck with them to the end. You may think that’s sentimental, but I mean it — to the bitter end.”
I saw that for some reason of his own he was determined not to come, so I stood up.
“Are you a college man?” he inquired suddenly.
For a moment I thought he was going to suggest a “gonnegtion,” but he only nodded and shook my hand.
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead,” he suggested. “After that my own rule is to let everything alone.”
When I left his office the sky had turned dark and I got back to West Egg in a drizzle. After changing my clothes I went next door and found Mr. Gatz walking up and down excitedly in the hall. His pride in his son and in his son’s possessions was continually increasing and now he had something to show me.
“Jimmy sent me this picture.” He took out his wallet with trembling fingers. “Look there.”
It was a photograph of the house, cracked in the corners and dirty with many hands. He pointed out every detail to me eagerly. “Look there!” and then sought admiration from my eyes. He had shown it so often that I think it was more real to him now than the house itself.
“Jimmy sent it to me. I think it’s a very pretty picture. It shows up well.”
“Very well. Had you seen him lately?”
“He come out to see me two years ago and bought me the house I live in now. Of course we was broke up when he run off from home, but I see now there was a reason for it. He knew he had a big future in front of him. And ever since he made a success he was very generous with me.” He seemed reluctant to put away the picture, held it for another minute, lingeringly, before my eyes. Then he returned the wallet and pulled from his pocket a ragged old copy of a book called Hopalong Cassidy.
“Look here, this is a book he had when he was a boy. It just shows you.”
He opened it at the back cover and turned it around for me to see. On the last fly-leaf was printed the word Schedule, and the date September 12, 1906, and underneath:
Rise from bed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.00 a.m.
Dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling. . . . ..6.15-6.30 ”
Study electricity, etc. . . . . . . . . . . .7.15-8.15 ”
Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8.30-4.30 p.m.
Baseball and sports. . . . . . . . . . . . .4.30-5.00 ”
Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it5.00-6.00 ”
Study needed inventions. . . . . . . . . . .7.00-9.00 ”
General Resolves No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable] No more smokeing or chewing Bath every other day Read one improving book or magazine per week Save $5.00 {crossed out} $3.00 per week Be better to parents
“I come across this book by accident,” said the old man. “It just shows you, don’t it?”
“It just shows you.”
“Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he’s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that. He told me I et like a hog once, and I beat him for it.”
He was reluctant to close the book, reading each item aloud and then looking eagerly at me. I think he rather expected me to copy down the list for my own use.
A little before three the Lutheran minister arrived from Flushing, and I began to look involuntarily out the windows for other cars. So did Gatsby’s father. And as the time passed and the servants came in and stood waiting in the hall, his eyes began to blink anxiously, and he spoke of the rain in a worried, uncertain way. The minister glanced several times at his watch, so I took him aside and asked him to wait for half an hour. But it wasn’t any use. Nobody came.
About five o’clock our procession of three cars reached the cemetery and stopped in a thick drizzle beside the gate — first a motor hearse, horribly black and wet, then Mr. Gatz and the minister and I in the limousine, and a little later four or five servants and the postman from West Egg in Gatsby’s station wagon, all wet to the skin. As we started through the gate into the cemetery I heard a car stop and then the sound of someone splashing after us over the soggy ground. I looked around. It was the man with owl-eyed glasses whom I had found marvelling over Gatsby’s books in the library one night three months before.
I’d never seen him since then. I don’t know how he knew about the funeral, or even his name. The rain poured down his thick glasses, and he took them off and wiped them to see the protecting canvas unrolled from Gatsby’s grave.
I tried to think about Gatsby then for a moment, but he was already too far away, and I could only remember, without resentment, that Daisy hadn’t sent a message or a flower. Dimly I heard someone murmur, “Blessed are the dead that the rain falls on,” and then the owl-eyed man said “Amen to that,” in a brave voice.
We straggled down quickly through the rain to the cars. Owl-eyes spoke to me by the gate.
“I couldn’t get to the house,” he remarked.
“Neither could anybody else.”
“Go on!” He started. “Why, my God! they used to go there by the hundreds.” He took off his glasses and wiped them again, outside and in.
“The poor son-of-a-bitch,” he said.
One of my most vivid memories is of coming back West from prep school and later from college at Christmas time. Those who went farther than Chicago would gather in the old dim Union Station at six o’clock of a December evening, with a few Chicago friends, already caught up into their own holiday gayeties, to bid them a hasty good-by. I remember the fur coats of the girls returning from Miss This-or-that’s and the chatter of frozen breath and the hands waving overhead as we caught sight of old acquaintances, and the matchings of invitations: “Are you going to the Ordways’? the Herseys’? the Schultzes’?” and the long green tickets clasped tight in our gloved hands. And last the murky yellow cars of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad looking cheerful as Christmas itself on the tracks beside the gate.
When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. We drew in deep breaths of it as we walked back from dinner through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour, before we melted indistinguishably into it again.
That’s my Middle West — not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. I am part of that, a little solemn with the feel of those long winters, a little complacent from growing up in the Carraway house in a city where dwellings are still called through decades by a family’s name. I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all — Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.
Even when the East excited me most, even when I was most keenly aware of its superiority to the bored, sprawling, swollen towns beyond the Ohio, with their interminable inquisitions which spared only the children and the very old — even then it had always for me a quality of distortion. West Egg, especially, still figures in my more fantastic dreams. I see it as a night scene by El Greco: a hundred houses, at once conventional and grotesque, crouching under a sullen, overhanging sky and a lustreless moon. In the foreground four solemn men in dress suits are walking along the sidewalk with a stretcher on which lies a drunken woman in a white evening dress. Her hand, which dangles over the side, sparkles cold with jewels. Gravely the men turn in at a house — the wrong house. But no one knows the woman’s name, and no one cares.
After Gatsby’s death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes’ power of correction. So when the blue smoke of brittle leaves was in the air and the wind blew the wet laundry stiff on the line I decided to come back home.
There was one thing to be done before I left, an awkward, unpleasant thing that perhaps had better have been let alone. But I wanted to leave things in order and not just trust that obliging and indifferent sea to sweep my refuse away. I saw Jordan Baker and talked over and around what had happened to us together, and what had happened afterward to me, and she lay perfectly still, listening, in a big chair.
She was dressed to play golf, and I remember thinking she looked like a good illustration, her chin raised a little jauntily, her hair the color of an autumn leaf, her face the same brown tint as the fingerless glove on her knee. When I had finished she told me without comment that she was engaged to another man. I doubted that, though there were several she could have married at a nod of her head, but I pretended to be surprised. For just a minute I wondered if I wasn’t making a mistake, then I thought it all over again quickly and got up to say good-bye.
“Nevertheless you did throw me over,” said Jordan suddenly. “You threw me over on the telephone. I don’t give a damn about you now, but it was a new experience for me, and I felt a little dizzy for a while.”
We shook hands.
“Oh, and do you remember.”— she added ——” a conversation we had once about driving a car?”
“Why — not exactly.”
“You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn’t I? I mean it was careless of me to make such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride.”
“I’m thirty,” I said. “I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor.”
She didn’t answer. Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
One afternoon late in October I saw Tom Buchanan. He was walking ahead of me along Fifth Avenue in his alert, aggressive way, his hands out a little from his body as if to fight off interference, his head moving sharply here and there, adapting itself to his restless eyes. Just as I slowed up to avoid overtaking him he stopped and began frowning into the windows of a jewelry store. Suddenly he saw me and walked back, holding out his hand.
“What’s the matter, Nick? Do you object to shaking hands with me?”
“Yes. You know what I think of you.”
“You’re crazy, Nick,” he said quickly. “Crazy as hell. I don’t know what’s the matter with you.”
“Tom,” I inquired, “what did you say to Wilson that afternoon?” He stared at me without a word, and I knew I had guessed right about those missing hours. I started to turn away, but he took a step after me and grabbed my arm.
“I told him the truth,” he said. “He came to the door while we were getting ready to leave, and when I sent down word that we weren’t in he tried to force his way up-stairs. He was crazy enough to kill me if I hadn’t told him who owned the car. His hand was on a revolver in his pocket every minute he was in the house ——” He broke off defiantly. “What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him. He threw dust into your eyes just like he did in Daisy’s, but he was a tough one. He ran over Myrtle like you’d run over a dog and never even stopped his car.”
There was nothing I could say, except the one unutterable fact that it wasn’t true.
“And if you think I didn’t have my share of suffering — look here, when I went to give up that flat and saw that damn box of dog biscuits sitting there on the sideboard, I sat down and cried like a baby. By God it was awful ——”
I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. 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. . . .
I shook hands with him; it seemed silly not to, for I felt suddenly as though I were talking to a child. Then he went into the jewelry store to buy a pearl necklace — or perhaps only a pair of cuff buttons — rid of my provincial squeamishness forever.

Gatsby’s house was still empty when I left — the grass on his lawn had grown as long as mine. One of the taxi drivers in the village never took a fare past the entrance gate without stopping for a minute and pointing inside; perhaps it was he who drove Daisy and Gatsby over to East Egg the night of the accident, and perhaps he had made a story about it all his own. I didn’t want to hear it and I avoided him when I got off the train.
I spent my Saturday nights in New York because those gleaming, dazzling parties of his were with me so vividly that I could still hear the music and the laughter, faint and incessant, from his garden, and the cars going up and down his drive. One night I did hear a material car there, and saw its lights stop at his front steps. But I didn’t investigate. Probably it was some final guest who had been away at the ends of the earth and didn’t know that the party was over.
On the last night, with my trunk packed and my car sold to the grocer, I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more. On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight, and I erased it, drawing my shoe raspingly along the stone. Then I wandered down to the beach and sprawled out on the sand.
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning ——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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