The Great Gatsby Chapter 8 - Summary

In the morning , after a sleepless night, haunted by Myrtle's death, Nick hears Gatsby returning from having spent the night standing outside Daisy's house. He goes to talk to Gatsby and learns that Daisy never came out of the house and nothing happened. Nick tells Gatsby he should go away, before the police trace his car, but Gatsby holds on to his dream of being with Daisy. He tells Nick the story of how they met, when he was poor, and how he was drafted into the war and had to leave her. He explains that Daisy believed they were of the same social class, and he let her believe it. At the end of the war, Gatsby didn't return immediately to Daisy, but was sent to Oxford.

Daisy, in the meantime, needed some decision or movement in her life. She wrote Gatsby that she was going to marry Tom. When he finally returned, he went to Louisville to find her, but learned that she had, indeed, married Tom and was on her honeymoon. He says he should have tried harder to find her and get her back.

The gardener comes in while the two are talking and tells Gatsby he is going to drain the pool, as summer is over. Gatsby tells him to do it later because he wants to swim once before the summer ends, and he has never used the pool. Nick leaves him for the last time saying, "They're a rotten crowd…you're worth the whole damn bunch put together. "

Nick goes into the city to go to work. Jordan calls, angry that he left her at Gatsby's house. They talk for a while, then listen to silence on the phone, then they hang up. He tries to call Gatsby, but can't get through. He leaves his office and heads home.

The scene switches to George Wilson and his neighbor Michaelis, in George's garage all night. Michaelis leaves George, but returns a few hours later. Wilson has left the garage and traveled to West Egg, and to Gatsby's house, where, sure that Gatsby hit his wife with his car, Wilson shoots and kills Gatsby as he swims in his pool.

Nick arrives to find Gatsby's body in the pool. The gardener finds Wilson, dead, off in the grass near the pool.

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Literature Summaries
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby Chapter 9 - Summary

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