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Summary Chp. 8

Chapter Eight

The next morning at dawn, Nick hears a taxi – it’s Gatsby returning to his house. Nick crosses over to talk with Gatsby. He warns Gatsby to go away before the police trace his car but Gatsby refuses to give up hoping that Daisy will leave Tom.

Here Nick tells us that this is the time when he learned of Gatsby’s early days with Dan Cody. Gatsby also tells Nick how he first met Daisy. He was an army officer during the war. He seduced her and was seduced by her:

“They had never been closer in their month of love, nor connected more profoundly one with another, than when she brushed silent lips against his coat’s shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.”

Gatsby tells Nick of his true war experience. He was successful in the war but was delayed returning home. In the mean time Daisy was gradually returning to the social whirl.

She still cared for Gatsby, but she met Tom Buchanan and was attracted to him and fell in love with him. “Doubtless there was a certain struggle and a certain relief.” Tom and Daisy married.

Gatsby’s love for Daisy had transformed his life. When he was finally discharged from the army he made a pilgrimage to Daisy’s hometown, though she had already married and wasn’t living there anymore.

Nick and Gatsby have breakfast together, then Nick takes a train into the City.
At noon at Nick’s office Jordan Baker calls him and they quarrel overtly.

Nick then returns the narrative to the night before, after Myrtle was killed, to explain that George Wilson had a sort of emotional breakdown after his wife’s death, and some of his friends and neighbors stayed with him to watch him during the night.

The following morning however, Wilson slips away on foot. Acting on information he got from Tom Buchanan the evening before, he goes looking for Gatsby.

That afternoon, Gatsby is in his pool. Wilson finds him there and murders him, then he kills himself.

Nick returns form the city and goes looking for Gatsby at his house and finds the bodies.

F. Scott Fitzgerald