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MonkeyNotes-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald-Free Booknotes Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

CHAPTER VIII

Summary (continued)

When Nick had passed through the Valley of Ashes on the way to work, he had crossed to the other side of the train. He did not want to see the curious crowds that would be gathered around the place of the accident. Nick then gives more information about the previous night. After Myrtle had been hit, Michaelis made a clumsy attempt to distract Wilson, asking how long they had been married. Wilson answered that she had been his wife for twelve years, but they had no children; he also stated they had no church. Wilson then blurted out, "He killed her. . .he murdered her." Michaelis explained that he saw the whole thing, and it was an accident, but George insisted that Myrtle "ran out to speak to him and he wouldn't stop."


At that moment, Michaelis noticed that Wilson's eyes looked like ashheaps. Wilson went on to explain that he had told Myrtle on the previous night that she might fool him, but she could not fool God, for "God sees everything." Just as Wilson spoke these words, Michaelis looked up and saw the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckelberg staring at him. Wilson seemed to be looking at them as well. Michaelis went home after dawn and slept for four hours. When he awoke, he went to check on Wilson, but his friend was gone.

Wilson had gone out on foot to search for the owner of the yellow car. At noon, he had bought a sandwich and coffee in Gad's Hill. By half past two he was in West Egg, where he asked someone for directions to Gatsby's house. At two o'clock Gatsby had put on his bathing suit. Before going to the pool, he blew up an air mattress, asked the servants to bring the phone out to him if there were calls, and told the chauffeur that the yellow car was not to be taken out of the garage for any reason, even though the right front fender needed repair.

The butler waited until four o'clock to see if Gatsby received a phone call; it was "long after there was anyone to give it to if it came." Gatsby must have known the call from Daisy would never come; he must have felt "that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is." The chauffeur heard the shots, but had not thought anything about them. Then Nick arrived at Gatsby's house, anxiously looking for his friend. He hurried to the pool with the chauffeur, the butler, and the gardener. "The laden mattress moved irregularly down the pool," surrounded by a red circle in the water. As they carried Gatsby's body from the pool, they noticed Wilson's body a little way off in the grass. "The holocaust was complete."

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