The Great Gatsby Chapter 9 - Summary

The police and bands of reporters arrive at Gatsby's house when news of his death gets worried. Nick waits for someone to take charge of the funeral arrangements, but, when no one steps forward to do so, he takes charge. He calls Daisy to tell her what happened. He's surprised to learn that she and Tom have left. Nick makes several phone calls, trying to gather Gatsby's friends together for his funeral. Myer Wolfshiem, who had professed his great affection for Gatsby, sends a letter explaining that he won't attend the funeral. He goes to visit Wolfshiem in person, and he responds, "Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive, not after he is dead," and refuses to "get mixed up" with Gatsby's death.

Three days after Gatsby's death a telegram arrives from Henry C. Gatz, Gatsby's father, who lived in Minnesota and saw in the news of Gatsby's death in a Chicago paper. He asked that the funeral be postponed and announced he was coming at once. Henry Gatz was an old man with a sparse beard who seemed very weak. Gatz remains impressed with his son, telling Nick that Gatsby was a smart man who could have been great had he lived. Gatz is impressed by Gatsby's house, an obvious sign of his success. He shows Nick a copy of a children's book called Hopalong Cassidy in which a young Gatsby, still Jimmy Gatz had scribbled his daily schedule for self-improvement.

Late that night Klipspringer, the piano-playing boarder, calls. Nick is relieved that he has found someone who will attend the funeral, but Klipspringer tells Nick he won't be attending as he's promised to go on a picnic with his hosts the next day, and he was only calling about a pair of shoes he'd left behind. Nick hangs up on him.

The morning of the funeral, the only attendees are a few servants, Nick and Mr. Gatz, and the mail carrier. Just as they are about to end, the party guest called "Owl Eyes" shows up at the gate. Owl Eyes can't believe that no one else of all of Gatsby's many guests bothered to come.

Nick decides he will leave West Egg and move back West. He runs into Tom in New York and learns that the day Gatsby was killed George Wilson showed up at Tom and Daisy's house. Tom told him that Gatsby was the man who owned the yellow car, and told him where he lived. Tom doesn't seem to realize the role he played in Gatsby's death, or if he does, he is not bothered by it.

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