The Great Gatsby - english

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The Great Gatsby
Chapter 8 Summary and Analysis
May 2011
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Chapter Eight – Summary
Nick wracked by anxiety – hears Gatsby come home and
heads to his house
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Gatsby had been outside of Daisy’s house all night
Nick advises Gatsby to leave town – Atlantic City, Montreal
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Cannot leave Daisy
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Chapter Eight – Summary
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Gatsby tells Nick the real story as to how he first met Daisy
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1917, Louisville
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Smitten with her wealth, beauty and youthful innocence
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Gatsby lied about his poverty and past
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Daisy promised to wait for him after the war
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Daisy married Tom, her social equal and her parents’ choice
When Nick leaves, he gives Gatsby a compliment
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“worth the whole damn bunch [of the Buchanans and their East
Egg friends] put together.”
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Chapter Eight – Summary
Valley of Ashes
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George Wilson being consoled by Michaelis
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George Wilson tells Michaelis that he confronted Myrtle with
the evidence of her affair
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She could not hide it from the eyes of God
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George Wilson mistakes Dr. T.J. Eckelburg for the eyes of
God
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Assumes the driver of the car was Myrtle’s lover
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Chapter Eight – Analysis
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Although Gatsby has a criminal past and nouveau riche
affectations, Nick cannot help but admire him for his nobility
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Nick does recognize Gatsby as a visionary, capable of grand
passion and great dreams
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Represents an ideal that had grown rare in the 1920s, which
was an age of cynicism, decadence and cruelty
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Chapter Eight – Analysis
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Nick believes Gatsby’s great mistake was loving Daisy
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American Dream has degenerated into the crass pursuit of
material wealth
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Gatsby strived only for wealth once he had fallen in love
Gatsby, not murdered for his criminal activities, but his
unwavering devotion to Daisy
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Nick writes, Gatsby “[pays] a high price for living too long with a
single dream.”
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Chapter Eight – Analysis
Gatsby unable to accept that his dream is over – continues to
insist that Daisy may still come to him
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Clear to everyone, including the reader, she is bound to Tom
Gatsby’s death seems inevitable – dreamer cannot exist
without his dreams
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Through Daisy’s betrayal, he loses his reason for living
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Chapter Eight – Analysis
Wilson – Gatsby’s grim double in Chapter VIII
Fundamentally alters the course of his life by attaching
symbolic significance to something that is, in and of itself,
meaningless
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Gatsby, Daisy and her green light
Wilson, the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckelburg
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Destroyed by their love for women who love the brutal Tom
Buchanan
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Both consumed for longing for something more
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Gatsby, “American Dreamer” – in-so-far as his dreams of wealth
Wilson, exemplifies the fate of the “Failed Dreamer” – poverty
deprived him of even his ability to hope
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Chapter Eight – Analysis
Wilson – Gatsby’s grim double in Chapter VIII
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Gatsby’s death takes place on the first day of autumn
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Decision to use his pool in defiance of the change of seasons
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Gatsby’s unwillingness to accept the passage of time
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Summer = reunion with Daisy
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End of summer = end of their romance
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Chapter Eight – Key Questions
1.
How does Fitzgerald achieve a melancholic mood in the
beginning of this chapter?
2.
How are seasons used in constructing this novel?
3.
Who is Dan Cody and what is his significance in Gatsby's
life?
4.
How does Nick's statement "You're worth the whole bunch
put together" show a change in Nick from the beginning of
the novel?
5.
How does T. J. Eckleberg affect Mr. Wilson?

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