Swarms of reporters, journalists, and gossipmongers descend on the mansion in the aftermath of the murder. The latter claims that he has a social engagement in Westport and asks Nick to send along his tennis shoes.
Outraged, Nick hangs up on him. Gatz, who has come all the way from Minnesota. Henry Gatz is proud of his son and saves a picture of his house. Sick of the East and its empty values, Nick decides to move back to the Midwest.
He breaks off his relationship with Jordan, who suddenly claims that she has become engaged to another man. Tom tells him that he was the one who told Wilson that Gatsby owned the car that killed Myrtle, and describes how greatly he suffered when he had to give up the apartment he kept in the city for his affair.
He says that Gatsby deserved to die. Nick comes to the conclusion that Tom and Daisy are careless and uncaring people and that they destroy people and things, knowing that their money will shield them from ever having to face any negative consequences.
Nick muses that, in some ways, this story is a story of the West even though it has taken place entirely on the East Coast.
Nick, Jordan, Tom, and Daisy are all from west of the Appalachians, and Nick believes that the reactions of each, himself included, to living the fast-paced, lurid lifestyle of the East has shaped his or her behavior.
Nick remembers life in the Midwest, full of snow, trains, and Christmas wreaths, and thinks that the East seems grotesque and distorted by comparison. As the moon rises, he imagines the island with no houses and considers what it must have looked like to the explorers who discovered the New World centuries before.
He imagines that America was once a goal for dreamers and explorers, just as Daisy was for Gatsby. Nick senses that people everywhere are motivated by similar dreams and by a desire to move forward into a future in which their dreams are realized.
Nick envisions their struggles to create that future as boats moving in a body of water against a current that inevitably carries them back into the past. I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.
See Important Quotations Explained Analysis Nick thinks of America not just as a nation but as a geographical entity, land with distinct regions embodying contrasting sets of values. The Midwest, he thinks, seems dreary and pedestrian compared to the excitement of the East, but the East is merely a glittering surface—it lacks the moral center of the Midwest.
This fundamental moral depravity dooms the characters of The Great Gatsby—all Westerners, as Nick observes—to failure. There is another significance to the fact that all of the major characters are Westerners, however.
Throughout American history, the West has been seen as a land of promise and possibility—the very emblem of American ideals.Decisive Moments: American Impressionist Painting from West Coast Collections. Opening at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California on August 27, will be an exquisite selection of forty-six American Impressionist paintings from private collections throughout the West coast.A number of the paintings in this exhibition have not been exhibited publicly in this area before.
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