The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Chapter 8 with Summary (2023)

Summary of Chapter 8

Nick wakes up to hear Gatsby return from the Buchanans. Nick visits Gatsby, who tells him that nothing happened to him overnight; Despite this, Nick advises Gatsby to leave town before his car is identified. Gatsby reveals the truth about his past with Daisy. He tells Nick that Daisy was his social superior; Despite this, they fell deeply in love and slept together, making Gatsby feel married to her. He went off to war, and when he went off to Oxford instead of coming home right away, Daisy's interest waned and she broke off the relationship.

Gatsby tells Nick that when he returned to the United States, he went to Louisville to find Daisy. However, she was on his honeymoon; This devastated Gatsby and forever left him with the impression that if he had looked closer he would have found her. The gardener arrives telling Gatsby that he will empty the pool when the season is over. Gatsby tells him to wait because he hasn't used the pool. Nick leaves to catch a train, but he doesn't want to leave Gatsby. He tells Gatsby that he is worth more than all the "lazy people" put together.

Nick's day drags on. He is uncomfortable. Jordan calls but Nick cuts her off, then Nick tries to call Gatsby and fails. The narrative switches to Eve with the grieving and angry George Wilson traveling to Gatsby's house. She finds Gatsby floating on an air mattress in the pool and shoots him. Nick discovers Gatsby's body. The gardener discovers that Wilson has shot himself on the nearby lawn.

The Great Gatsby, Chapter 8 Full Text

I couldn't sleep all night; a foghorn wailed incessantly at the sound, and I wavered half sickly between grotesque reality and wild, terrifying dreams. Towards morning I heard a taxi pulling up Gatsby's driveway and immediately jumped out of bed and started to get dressed; I felt that I had something to tell him, something to warn him about, and that it would be too late in the morning.

As I was walking through his garden, I saw that the front door was still open and that he was leaning against a table in the hall, overcome with depression or sleep.

"Nothing happened," he said wearily. "She was waiting and around four o'clock she went to the window and stood there for a minute and then turned off the light."

His house had never seemed so big to me as it did that night when we searched the big rooms for cigarettes. We parted curtains that looked like gazebos and searched countless meters of dark walls for electric light switches; once, with a kind of splash, I landed on the keys of a creepy piano. There was an inexplicable amount of dust everywhere and the rooms were moldy like they hadn't been aired out in days. I found the humidor on an unfamiliar table with two stale, dried-out cigarettes inside. We open the French windows in the living room and sit in the dark smoking.

"You should go," I told him. It's pretty sure they'll chase your car.

"Go now, old man?"

"Go to Atlantic City for a week or go up to Montreal."

He wouldn't consider it. There was no way he could leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clinging to one last hope and she couldn't bear to shake him.

That night he told me the strange story of his youth with Dan Cody, he told it to me because "Jay Gatsby" had been shattered like glass by Tom's harsh malice and the big secret show took place. I think he would have admitted to anything at this point, but he wanted to talk about Daisy.

She was the first "good" girl he had ever met. She had come into contact with these people in various undisclosed capacities, but always with unrecognizable barbed wire between them. He found her excitingly desirable. She went to her house, first with other Camp Taylor officers, then alone. She astonished him: she had never been in such a beautiful house before. But what gave it a touch of breathless intensity was the fact that Daisy lived there: it was as casual to her as her tent in her camp was to him. It was a ripe mystery, an air of upstairs rooms prettier and cooler than other rooms, of gay and bright activities going on in the halls, and of romances not musty and already lavender-tinged, but fresh and breathing and fragrant with the life this year shiny and dancing cars whose flowers have barely withered. He was also aroused that many men had already loved Daisy: in her eyes, she increased her worth. She felt her presence throughout the house, filling the air with shadows and echoes of even more vivid emotions.

But he found out that he was at Daisy's house because of a colossal accident. As glorious as his future as Jay Gatsby might be, he was currently a penniless youth with no past, and the invisibility cloak of his uniform could slip off his shoulders at any moment. So he made the most of his time. He took what he could, greedily and ruthlessly; he finally he took Daisy on a quiet October night, he took her because he had no real right to touch her hand.

He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her under false pretenses. I don't want to say that he traded the million ghosts on her, but he did consciously give Daisy a sense of security; He made her believe that he was a person of the same class as her, that he was fully capable of taking care of her. In fact, she had no such institutions: she had no comfortable family behind her and was subject to the whim of an impersonal government to be blown up anywhere in the world.

But he did not despise himself and it did not turn out as he had imagined. He probably had intended to take what he could and leave, but now he found himself committed to following a Grail. He knew that Daisy was extraordinary, but he didn't know how extraordinary a "good" girl she could be. He disappeared into his rich house, into his rich and full life, leaving Gatsby, nothing. He felt married to her, that was all.

When they met again two days later, it was the breathless Gatsby who was somehow betrayed. His porch glowed with the purchased luxury of starlight; the wicker sofa creaked fashionably as she turned to him and he kissed her curious, enchanting mouth. She had caught a cold, and her voice was hoarse and more lovely than ever, and Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth encloses and preserves, of the freshness of many dresses, and of Daisy, bright as silver, safe and secure. and proud. on them the fierce battles of the poor.

"I can't tell you how surprised I was to find out that I loved her, man. I even waited for a while for her to knock me out, but she didn't because she had a crush on me too. She thought I knew a lot because I knew other things about her.. Well, there I was, far from my ambitions, falling more in love by the minute, and suddenly I didn't care anymore.What was the point of doing great things if I could tell him better what I would do?

On the last evening before going abroad, he sat quietly with Daisy in his arms for a long time. It was a cold fall day with a fire in the room and her cheeks were flushed. From time to time she moved and he shifted her arm a little and once he kissed her shiny dark hair. The afternoon he had calmed them down for a while, as if to give them a deep memory of the promised long goodbye the next day. They had never been closer in her month of love, or communicated more deeply, than when she brushed her lips silently over her coat's shoulder, or when he gently touched her fingertips like if she was asleep

He did exceptionally well in the war. He was a captain before going to the front, and after the battles of the Argonne he came of age and commanded the division's machine guns. After the armistice, he desperately tried to return home, but some complication or misunderstanding sent him to Oxford. He now he was worried; there was a kind of nervous despair in Daisy's letters. She didn't understand why he couldn't come. He felt the pressure from the outside world and he wanted to see it and feel her presence next to him and know that he was doing the right thing after all.

Because Daisy was young, and her artificial world smelt of orchids and pleasant, happy snobbery and orchestras that set the rhythm of the year and summed up life's sadness and lust in new melodies. All night the saxophones howled the hopeless commentary of "Beale Street Blues" while a hundred pairs of gold and silver slippers shuffled the glittering dust. At the gray hour of tea there were always rooms throbbing incessantly with that sweet low fever, while cool faces blew here and there like rose-leaves blown across the floor by sad horns.

Through this twilight universe Daisy moved again with the seasons; She was suddenly back on half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men and she fell asleep at dawn with the pearls and chiffon of an evening gown tangled among wilted orchids on the floor beside her bed. And all the while something inside her was screaming for a decision. She wanted her life to take shape now and immediately, and the decision had to be made by a force—of love, of money, of undeniable practicality—that she was close to.

That power took shape in mid-spring with the arrival of Tom Buchanan. There was a healthy bulge in her person and position, and Daisy was flattered. No doubt there was some struggle and some relief. The letter reached Gatsby while he was still at Oxford.

(Video) The Great Gatsby | Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis | F. Scott Fitzgerald

It was dawn on Long Island now, and we got ready to open the rest of the windows below, filling the house with gray and gold light. The shadow of a tree fell sharply on the dew, and ghostly birds began to sing among the blue leaves. There was a nice slow movement in the air, just a breeze that promised a nice cool day.

"I don't think she ever loved him." Gatsby turned from a window and gave me a challenging look. "You have to remember, old man, she was very excited this afternoon. He said these things to her in a way that scared her, made it sound like I was some kind of cheap wit. And the result was that she barely knew what she was saying." .

He sat grimly.

"Of course she could have loved him, just for a minute, when they first got married, and she loved me even more, you know?"

Suddenly he came out with a strange comment:

"Anyway," he said, "it was just personal."

What could you do with that other than suspect an intensity in his perception of the matter that couldn't be measured?

She returned from France while Tom and Daisy were still on their honeymoon, and made a miserable but irresistible trip to Louisville on her last salary. She stayed there for a week, walking the streets where his footsteps had met on the November night and visiting the out-of-the-way places where his white car had been driven. Just as Daisy's house had always seemed more mysterious and gay to her than other houses, so her vision of the city of herself—she, though she had left it—was imbued with a melancholy beauty.

He left feeling that if he had searched harder he might have found her, that he would leave her behind. The day car, now penniless, was hot. She went out into the open hall and sat in a folding chair and the station receded and the backs of unfamiliar buildings passed. She then she went out into the spring fields where a yellow streetcar took her speeding for a minute with people who perhaps once saw the sallow magic of her face along the lazy road.

The road curved and now led away from the sun, which, as it sank, spread happily over the fading city in which it had breathed. Desperate, he reached out as if he wanted to take a breath to save a fragment of the place where she had made love to him. But now it was all happening too fast for her blurry eyes, and she knew that she had lost that part, the freshest and best, forever.

It was nine o'clock when we finished breakfast and went out on the porch. The night had changed the weather a lot and there was a taste of autumn in the air. The gardener, the last of Gatsby's former servants, climbed to the bottom of the stairs.

“I'm going to empty the basin today, Mr. Gatsby. The leaves start to fall very early and then there are always problems with the pipes.”

"Don't do it today," Gatsby replied. He turned to me apologetically. "You know, man, haven't I used that pool all summer?"

I looked at my watch and got up.

Twelve minutes for my train.

I didn't want to go to the city. It wasn't worth a decent job, but it was more than that: he didn't want to leave Gatsby. I missed that train and then another before I could pull myself away.

"I'll call you," I finally said.

"Do it, old man."

"I'll call you around noon."

We slowly descend the steps.

"I suppose Daisy will call too." She looked at me anxiously, as if waiting for confirmation.

"I guess so."

"OK then goodbye".

(Video) THE GREAT GATSBY Chapter 8 Summary | Gatsby’s Swim | ANALYSIS

We shook hands and I went on my way. Just before I reached the hedge, something occurred to me and I turned around.

"They're a lousy bunch," I yelled from across the lawn. "You're worth the whole damn lot."

I was always glad I said that. It was the only compliment I paid him because I disapproved of him from start to finish. He nodded politely at first, and then his face twisted into that bright, understanding smile, as if we'd been caught up in ecstasy over that fact all along. His beautiful pink suit made a brilliant splash of color against the white steps, and I thought of the night he first came to his ancestral home three months ago. The lawn and driveway were littered with the faces of those who suspected his depravity, and he had stood on those steps, hiding his incorruptible sleep as he bid them farewell.

I thanked him for his hospitality. We always thanked him for that, me and the others.

"Bye," I called. "I enjoyed breakfast, Gatsby."

Uptown, I spent a while trying to list the prices of an endless stream of stocks, then fell asleep in my swivel chair. Just before noon the phone woke me up and I sat up with sweat on my forehead. It was Jordan Baker; she often called me at this hour because the uncertainty of his own movements between hotels and clubs and private homes made it difficult to find her any other way. Normally his voice would come across the line as fresh and cold as if a chop had come through the office window from a green golf course, but this morning it sounded harsh and dry.

"I left Daisy's house," he said. "I'm in Hempstead, going to Southampton this afternoon."

Leaving Daisy's house was probably tactful, but the act infuriated me, and her next comment made me stiff.

"You weren't so nice to me last night."

"So how could it have mattered?"

silence for a moment. After-

"But I want to see you."

"I want to see you too."

What if I don't go to Southampton and come into town this afternoon?

"No, I don't think so this afternoon."


"It's impossible this afternoon. Different-"

We talked like that for a while and suddenly stopped talking. I don't know which one of us she hung up on with a loud click, but I know I didn't care. He couldn't have spoken to her at a tea table that day if she hadn't spoken to him again in this world.

A few minutes later I called Gatsby's house but the line was busy. I have tried it four times; finally, a disgruntled operator informed me that the line would remain open long distances from Detroit. I pulled out my timetable and drew a small circle around the three-fifty train. Then I leaned back in my chair and tried to think. It was only noon.

When I passed the ash piles on the train that morning, I had deliberately walked to the other side of the car. I suppose there would be a crowd of onlookers hanging around all day, with small children looking for dark spots in the dust and a talkative man repeating what had happened over and over again until less and less became even real to him and he could deny it. . any longer and Myrtle Wilson's tragic performance was forgotten. Now I want to go back a bit and share what happened in the garage after we drove there the night before.

They had trouble locating Sister Catherine. She must have broken the alcohol ban that night because when she arrived she was drunk and she couldn't understand that the ambulance had already left for Flushing. When she was convinced of this, she immediately fainted, as if that was the unbearable part of her. Someone nice or curious took her in her car and took her after the body of her sister.

Until well after midnight, a moody crowd crashed into the front of the garage as George Wilson rocked back and forth on the couch inside. For a while the office door was open and everyone who entered the garage looked through it irresistibly. Finally someone said it was a pity and closed the door. Michaelis and several other men were with him, four or five men at first, then two or three men. Later, Michaelis had to ask the last stranger to wait there another quarter hour while he went back to his seat and made himself a cup of coffee. After that he stayed there alone with Wilson until dawn.

Around three, the quality of Wilson's incoherent mutterings changed: he calmed down and started talking about the yellow car. He announced that he could somehow find out who owned the yellow car, and then blurted out that her wife had left town a few months ago with bruises on her face and a swollen nose.

(Video) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Chapter 8 Summary

But when he heard himself say that, he flinched and started screaming, "Oh my God!" again with his whining voice. Michaelis made a clumsy attempt to distract him.

"How long have you been married, Jorge? Come on, try to sit still for a minute and answer my question. How long have you been married?"

"Twelve years."

"Have you ever had children? Come on George, hold still, I asked you a question. Have you ever had children?"

The tough brown bugs were still drumming against the dim light, and when Michaelis heard a car speeding down the street, it sounded to him like the car that hadn't stopped a few hours ago. He didn't like going into the garage because the workbench where the body had been was stained, so he moved uncomfortably around the office (he knew all the items before morning) and sat next to Wilson from time to time. to try to hold it. still.

"Do you have a church that you go to sometimes, George? Maybe even if you haven't been there for a long time? Maybe I could call the church and ask a priest to come over and talk to you, see?"

"Do not belong to anyone."

“You should have a church for times like this, George. You must have been to church once. Didn't you get married in a church? Listen, Jorge, listen to me. Didn't you get married in a church?

"It has been a long time."

The effort to respond broke the rhythm of her swinging - she was silent for a moment. Then the same half-conscious, half-bewildered look returned to his colorless eyes.

"Check that drawer over there," he said, pointing to the desk.

"What drawer?"

"This drawer, this."

Michaelis opened the drawer closest to him. Inside was nothing but a small, expensive dog leash made of leather and braided silver. It was apparently new.

"This?" she inquired, holding him up.

Wilson looked and nodded.

"I found him yesterday afternoon. He tried to tell me about it, but I knew it was funny."

"You mean your wife bought it?"

"She had it wrapped in tissue paper on her dresser."

Michaelis saw nothing unusual in this and gave Wilson a dozen reasons why his wife might have bought the dog leash. But it's conceivable that Wilson heard some of those explanations from Myrtle before, because she started going, "Oh my gosh!" whispering again: the Consolador of him left several explanations in the air.

"So he killed her," Wilson said. Suddenly, her mouth fell open.

"Who has?"

"I have a way of finding out."

(Video) Summary of Chapter 8 - Gatsby

"You're kinky, George," said his friend. "It was a burden on you and you don't know what you're saying. You'd better try to stay put until morning."

"He murdered her."

"It was an accident, Jorge."

Wilson shook his head. His eyes narrowed and his mouth opened slightly in the hint of a "Hm!" superior.

"I know," he said firmly, "I'm one of those trustworthy guys and I don't think I can hurt anyone, but if I find out anything, I'll know." He was the man in that car. She ran out to talk to him and he didn't stop."

Michaelis had seen it, too, but it hadn't occurred to him that it had any special significance. She believed that Mrs. Wilson had run away from her husband instead of trying to stop a particular car.

"How can she be like this?"

"It's deep," Wilson said, as if that answered the question. "Uhh-"

It started to swing again and Michaelis just stood there twisting the leash in his hand.

"Maybe you have a friend I could call George?"

It was a lost hope: he was almost certain Wilson didn't have a boyfriend: there wasn't enough of him for his wife. He was glad when, a little later, he noticed a change in the room, a blue glow in the window, and realized that dawn was not far off. At five o'clock it was blue enough outside to turn off the lights.

Wilson's glassy eyes focused on the ash-heaps, where small gray clouds took fantastic shapes, tossing to and fro in the weak morning breeze.

"I talked to her," he murmured after a long silence. “I told her that maybe she could fool me, but she couldn't fool God. I took her to the window—'with an effort of hers she got up and walked to the back window and leaned her face against it'—and said, 'God knows what you've done, all you've done. You can fool me, but you can't fool God!'"

Michaelis, standing behind him, was startled to find himself looking into the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, who had just emerged pale and huge from the dissolving night.

"God sees all," Wilson repeated.

"It's publicity," Michaelis assured him. Something made him turn away from the window and look into the room. But Wilson stood there for a long time, his face close to the window pane, nodding in the dark.

At six o'clock, Michaelis was exhausted and grateful for the sound of a car pulling up outside. He was one of the guards from the night before who had promised to return, so he made breakfast for three, which he and the other man ate together. Wilson was calmer now and Michaelis went home to sleep; when he woke up four hours later and ran back to the garage, Wilson was gone.

His movements (he was on foot the entire time) were later traced to Port Roosevelt and then to Gad's Hill, where he bought a sandwich, which he did not eat, and a cup of coffee. He must have been tired and walking slowly, because he didn't get to Gad's Hill until noon. So far, counting his time hasn't been a problem: there were kids who had seen a man "acting crazy" and motorists he gave strange looks to from the side of the road. He then disappeared from sight for three hours. Police assumed, based on what he told Michaelis that he "had a way of finding out," that he spent that time going from garage to garage asking about a yellow car. On the other hand, a man from the garage who had seen him had never come forward, and perhaps he had an easier and safer way of finding out what he wanted to know. At half past one he was in West Egg asking someone how to get to Gatsby's house. So at this point, he knew Gatsby's name.

At two o'clock, Gatsby changed into his bathing suit and told the butler that if someone called, he should call them at the pool. He stopped at the garage to retrieve an air mattress he had entertained his guests over the summer, and the driver helped him inflate it. He then gave the instruction not to open the car under any circumstances, and that was strange because the right front fender had to be repaired.

Gatsby shouldered the mattress and headed for the pool. He once stopped and moved it a bit, and the driver asked him if he needed help, but he shook his head and in a moment disappeared among the yellowed trees.

There was no phone message, but the butler did not sleep, and he waited until four in the afternoon to receive the message, until there was no one to give it to if he arrived for a long time. I have a feeling that Gatsby himself didn't think he was coming and maybe he didn't care anymore. If that was true, he must have felt that he had lost the warm old world, paid a heavy price for living on one dream for too long. He must have looked through terrifying leaves into an unfamiliar sky and shivered as he realized how grotesque a rose is and how harsh the sunlight was on the newly created grass. A new world, material without being real, where the poor spirits, breathing dreams like air, floated about... like this ashen and fantastic figure that glided toward him among the amorphous trees.

The driver - he was one of Wolfshiem's ​​protégés - heard the shots - later he could only say that he had not thought much about it. I drove directly from the train station to Gatsby's house, and my frantic dash up the front steps was the first thing that alarmed anyone. But they knew it then, I'm sure of that. As soon as we uttered a word, the four of us, the driver, the butler, the gardener and myself, rushed towards the pool.

There was a faint, barely perceptible movement of the water as the cool stream surged from one end to the drain at the other. With little ripples that were barely wave shadows, the loaded mattress moved erratically across the pool. A small gust of wind, barely rippling the surface, was enough to disturb its haphazard run with its haphazard load. The touch of a cluster of leaves turned it slowly, drawing a thin red circle in the water like the stem of a compass.

(Video) The Great Gatsby Chapter 8 Summary

After we went to the house with Gatsby, the gardener saw Wilson's body a little way off on the grass and the holocaust was complete.

Read more of The Great Gatsby at History Hit

The Great Gatsby - Chapter 1 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 2 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 3 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 4 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 5 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 6 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 7 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 8 with Summary
The Great Gatsby - Chapter 9 with Summary

For a comprehensive summary of the novel and an analysis of its key themes,Click here. For an overview of the novel's key characters and what they represent,Click here.


What happens in chapter 8 of the great? ›

Wilson shoots Gatsby, killing him instantly, then shoots himself. Nick hurries back to West Egg and finds Gatsby floating dead in his pool. Nick imagines Gatsby's final thoughts, and pictures him disillusioned by the meaninglessness and emptiness of life without Daisy, without his dream.

What do we learn about Gatsby's past in Chapter 8? ›

Gatsby realized that he was in love with Daisy and was surprised to see that Daisy fell in love with him too. They were together for a month before Gatsby had to leave for the war in Europe. He was successful in the army, becoming a major. After the war he ended up at Oxford, unable to return to Daisy.

What is Gatsby's dream in chapter 8? ›

Just as the American dream—the pursuit of happiness—has degenerated into a quest for mere wealth, Gatsby's powerful dream of happiness with Daisy has become the motivation for lavish excesses and criminal activities.

How does Nick feel about Gatsby in Chapter 8? ›

As he leaves, Nick reveals his feelings for Gatsby when he says, "They're a rotten crowd […]. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." And YET, Nick reminds us that he "disapproved" of Gatsby "from beginning to end." Once he's at work, Jordan calls him on the phone. They are both sort of cold to each other.

What is a memorable line from chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby? ›

If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.

What is the conflict in chapter 8 of Great Gatsby? ›

Chapter 8 Main Conflict

Daisy, while waiting for Gatsby over time lost all interest. Wilson strongly believes the cause of Myrtle's death was Gatsby. Wilson goes to Gatsby's house finding him in the pool then shoots him. Giving him a quick death.


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