How Did Gatsby Die In The Book? What Does It Mean?

Why is Jay Gatsby’s death one of the most important in literature?

Because it represents the death of the American Dream in the 1920s.

How did Gatsby die? This post reviews the events leading to Gatsby’s death and their meaning.

Who Dies In The Great Gatsby?

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How Did Gatsby Die In The Book

Jay Gatsby dies in Chapter 8 when George Wilson guns him down. This is the tragic end of Gatsby’s dream as he is killed by the husband of the woman he loves. Gatsby’s death was caused by a combination of factors, including Tom Buchanan’s anger, Daisy’s carelessness, and Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream.

Gatsby’s death ends his hopes of winning Daisy back and his dream of achieving a perfect life. The events leading up to Gatsby’s death began when Daisy accidentally ran over George Wilson’s wife, Myrtle, in Gatsby’s car.

This led George to believe that Gatsby was having an affair with Daisy and was responsible for his wife’s death. When George comes across Gatsby, he takes a revolver and shoots him dead. 

Jay Gatsby Quotes With Page Numbers


Why does Gatsby die symbolically?

Gatsby’s death symbolizes the death of the American Dream, bringing the novel full circle.

The American dream expounds that anyone can find success and happiness through hard work. However, when Gatsby died, he eliminated this possibility for all the characters.

His death is the novel’s climax, symbolizing the end of the great American dream. Gatsby took responsibility for Myrtle Wilson’s death to protect Daisy, thus taking on some blame for his death. His death symbolizes the loss of his pursuit of a higher social class and his lost love of Daisy.

Nick Carraway mourns the loss of his friend and his ties to the elite class. He abandons his dreams of wealth and status. Gatsby’s death symbolically marks the end of the American dream. It leaves the characters to return to their daily lives without hope of achieving success and happiness.

Daisy Buchanan Quotes With Page Numbers


Who did Gatsby kill?

Gatsby did not kill anyone. Daisy Buchanan killed Myrtle Wilson as she drove Gatsby’s car when it knocked and killed Myrtle. Tom Buchanan told George that Gatsby was driving the car that had hit her, prompting George to go to Gatsby’s house. Gatsby took the blame for killing Myrtle to protect Daisy. 


Why Did Wilson Kill Gatsby?

George Wilson killed Jay Gatsby out of revenge for killing his wife. Wilson believed that Gatsby was the one who was driving the car that killed his wife, Myrtle. He also believed that Gatsby was having an affair with her. 

George went to Gatsby’s house to confront him. When Gatsby does not deny the accusation, Wilson fatally shoots him before turning the gun on himself.


Who Dies In The Great Gatsby?

The three main characters that die in The Great Gatsby are Jay Gatsby, George Wilson, and Myrtle Wilson.

  • Daisy Buchanan ran over and killed Myrtle Wilson.
  • Jay Gatsby was shot to death by George Wilson in the heat of anger and confusion.
  • George Wilson then took his own life after Myrtle Wilson’s death.

The forgotten fourth death is Dan Cody, Jay Gatsby’s mentor. When Cody died, Gatsby no longer had his help and was penniless. This set him on a darker path as he had to resort to illegal and immoral means to acquire money and attempt to win Daisy back.

Gatsby’s lonely funeral only had two people in attendance, his father and a mysterious man known as “Owl Eyes,” emphasizing the bitter injustice of Gatsby’s solitary death.

How Did Gatsby Make His Money?


Timeline of Gatsby’s Death


Daisy drives Gatsby’s car back from the hotel, runs over, and kills Myrtle Wilson.

Because Daisy went with Gatsby, Tom drove with Jordan Baker. Myrtle saw Tom with Jordan and thought she was his wife. After a fight with George, she ran out when she thought she had seen Tom.

In one of the windows over the garage the curtains had been moved aside a little, and Myrtle Wilson was peering down at the car. So engrossed was she that she had no consciousness
of being observed, and one emotion after another crept into her face like objects into a slowly developing picture. Her ex￾pression was curiously familiar — it was an expression I had of￾ten seen on women’s faces, but on Myrtle Wilson’s face it seemed purposeless and inexplicable until I realized that her eyes, wide with jealous terror, were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be his wife.

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Chapter 7, Page 78

That night, Tom convinces George Wilson that Jay Gatsby is the one who killed his wife. He also told him that Gatsby had an affair with Myrtle. A raged and confused George kills Gatsby.

“I told him the truth,” he said. “He came to the door while we were getting ready to leave, and when I sent down word that we weren’t in he tried to force his way up-stairs. He was crazy enough to kill me if I hadn’t told him who owned the car. His hand was on a revolver in his pocket every minute he was in the house ——” He broke off defiantly. “What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him. He threw dust into your eyes just like he did in Daisy’s, but he was a tough one. He ran over Myrtle like you’d run over a dog and never even stopped his car.” George Wilson shoots and kills Jay Gatsby at his pool.

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, Chapter 9, Page 109

Tom sends George to Gatsby as revenge for having an affair with Daisy. 

The Great Gatsby Characters List



Does Gatsby Die?

Yes, Gatsby does die in The Great Gatsby. He is shot and killed by George Wilson but is ultimately a victim of the events, decisions, and characters that led up to his death. 


Why was Mr. Gatsby killed?

George Wilson killed Gatsby due to his misguided belief that Gatsby was responsible for killing his wife, Myrtle. This was spurred by Daisy’s careless behavior of hitting Myrtle with Gatsby’s car and not taking responsibility, as well as Daisy and Gatsby’s affair, which caused Tom to seek vengeance against Gatsby.


In what chapter does Gatsby die?

In Chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby dies when George Wilson guns him down in a rage after Daisy runs over Myrtle Wilson.


How does Gatsby die at the end of the book?

At the end of the book, Gatsby is shot and killed by George Wilson in revenge for Daisy’s involvement in the death of his wife, Myrtle. George mistakenly believes that Gatsby is responsible, unaware that Daisy was driving the car. Gatsby had put himself in harm’s way to protect Daisy, resulting in his untimely death.


What were Gatsby’s last words?

Gatsby’s last recorded words before he died were, “I suppose Daisy’ll call too,” to Nick Carraway, Chapter 8, Page 95.


What was Gatsby’s age at death?

Gatsby was approximately 32 years old when he died, according to a reference made by Nick about an elegant young rough-neck being a year or two over thirty. 


What was ironic about Gatsby’s death?

Gatsby’s death is ironic because he’s still waiting for Daisy to call him, unaware that Daisy and her husband have already reconciled. Additionally, the irony of his funeral is exemplified by the contrast between the three attendants and the enormous crowds that attended his parties.

Further, Gatsby’s death reflects a symbolic death in which he kills the James-Gatz version of himself to take a new life.


Who ultimately caused Gatsby’s death?

Ultimately, Gatsby’s death can be attributed to a combination of factors, including Tom Buchanan’s anger, Daisy Buchanan’s carelessness, and Gatsby’s idealistic view of the American Dream. All of these elements combined lead to the tragedy of Gatsby’s death.

The Great Gatsby American Dream Analysis


Why did nobody go to Gatsby’s funeral?

Nobody attended Gatsby’s funeral because he had no close friends, and most party people were too shallow to meet him. Fitzgerald is commenting that humans are naturally self-centered, as Gatsby’s funeral received no attendance while his parties had enormous crowds.


Who arrives 3 days after Gatsby’s death?

Henry Gatz, Gatsby’s father, arrives three days after Gatsby’s death. “a solemn old man very helpless and dismayed, bundled up in a long cheap ulster against the warm September day. His eyes leaked continuously with excitement.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Chapter 9, page 102


Did Daisy call Gatsby before he died?

No, Daisy doesn’t seem to call Gatsby before he died. Gatsby told Nick that he had waited at Daisy’s until four o’clock in the morning and that nothing happened, indicating that Daisy did not come outside or contact him.

Gatsby also revealed that he and Daisy had been intimate when they were courting and that she had promised to wait for him when he left for the war, but that she eventually married Tom instead.


What does Gatsby realize before he dies?

The novel doesn’t say what Gatsby realizes before he dies. I believe that Gatsby realizes the futility of his greed. He had a real friend in Nick and Daisy’s love, but it wasn’t enough. Swimming in his pool before his death could symbolize enjoying his success and being grateful, and accepting his fate. There’s nothing he can do but wait for the consequences.


What did Nick say to Gatsby before he died?

Before Gatsby passes away, Nick shouts that he is worth more than the Buchanans and their friends. Nick’s last words to Gatsby were, “They’re a rotten crowd… You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” He said goodbye and added, “I enjoyed breakfast, Gatsby.”


What did Nick do when Gatsby died?

When Gatsby dies, Nick is the only main character who shows care and respect for him, arranging a funeral and grieving his death privately. Gatsby’s death also deeply affected him, leading him to question the idea of the American Dream and decide to go back West.


The Great Gatsby Quotes With Page Numbers


Sources Cited

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