How do the characters react to Myrtle's death? (2023)

In most books and movies, the "other woman" - the woman who is having an affair with a married man - is often portrayed as the villain. But what about The Great Gatsby, a novel in which both married women (Myrtle Wilson and Daisy Buchanan) have affairs? Especially considering that one (Daisy) kills the other (Myrtle), is Myrtle just a one-note "other woman" or is there more to her?


  • Article Screenplay
  • A brief note about our quotations
  • Myrtle Wilson's physical description
  • Myrtle before romance begins
  • Summary of Myrtle's action in the novel
  • Myrtle Wilson Top Quotes
  • Common Writing Topics/Discussion Areas
  • Why do Tom and Myrtle get together? What do you see in each other?
  • What does Myrtle's life (and its tragic end) say about the American dream?
  • How does Myrtle's home reflect her character, attitudes, beliefs and values?
  • Why is Myrtle walking straight out into the street?
  • What is the next?
  • How does Tom react to Myrtle's death?
  • Did Tom and Nick witness Myrte's death?
  • How does Daisy feel about killing Myrtle?
  • How did the characters react to Gatsby's death?

Myrtle's role in the story isn't as big as that of Daisy, Gatsby or Tom. However, it is crucial to the plot of the story, and especially to its tragic conclusion. Learn more about Myrtle's role in Gatsby in this guide!

Article Screenplay

  1. Myrtle as a character
  2. character analysis

A brief note about our quotations

Our citation format in this guide is (chapter.paragraph). We use this system because there are many editions of Gatsby, so using page numbers would only work for students with our copy of the book. To find a citation we cite by chapter and paragraph in your book, you can either visually locate it (paragraph 1-50: beginning of chapter; 50-100: middle of chapter; 100: end of chapter) or use the search function. search if you are using an online or eReader version of the text.

Myrtle Wilson's physical description

Then I heard footsteps on the stairs and in a moment the heavy figure of a woman blocked the light from the office door. She was in her thirties and a little heavyset, but she wore her excess flesh as sensually as some women can. Her face in a dark blue china crepe-stained dress contained no facets or gleams of beauty, yet she had an immediately perceptible vitality, as if the nerves in her body were perpetually smoldering. She smiled slowly and walked past her husband as if he were a ghost, squeezing Tom's hand and looking at him with red eyes. (2.15)

Unlike Nick's description of Daisy, which focuses on her voice, demeanor, and charm, and unlike her description of Jordan, which focuses on her demeanor and athleticism, Nick's description of Myrtle focuses almost entirely on your body. Perhaps this fits her role as Tom's lover, but it also suggests that Nick sees little in Myrtle in terms of intellect or personality.

This description also speaks to the strong physical attraction between Tom and Myrtle that underpins their affair. This attraction serves as a foil to the deeper emotional attraction between Gatsby and Daisy, the novel's central affair.

Myrtle before romance begins

We don't know much about Myrtle Wilson's backstory, other than what we can glean from other characters' comments. For example, we get the sense that Myrtle loved her husband when they got married, but has since become disillusioned with his lack of money and social status and now feels stifled by her twelve-year marriage:

"I married him because I thought he would be a gentleman," she finally said. "I thought he knew about breeding, but he couldn't lick my shoe."

"You were crazy about him for a while," Catherine said.

"Crazy about him!" exclaimed Myrtle in disbelief. "Who said I was crazy about him? I was never as crazy about him as that man over there."

Suddenly she pointed at me and everyone looked at me accusingly. I tried to show by my facial expression that I hadn't been part of her past.

"I was mad when I married him. I knew right away I had made a mistake. He borrowed someone's best suit to get married to and didn't even tell me about it, and the man came after him one day when he wasn't there She looked around to see who was listening: "'Oh' is that your suit? I said. "It's the first time I've heard of it." But I gave it to him and then I lay down and cried all afternoon to beat the band."

"She really should stay away from him," Catherine continued to me. “They've lived over this garage for eleven years. And Tom is the first boyfriend she's had.” (2.112-7)

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She begins her affair with Tom Buchanan after he sees her on the train and later pushes her against her at the station:

I wanted to go to New York to visit my sister and spend the night there. He was wearing a tuxedo and patent leather shoes and I couldn't take my eyes off him, but every time he looked at me I had to pretend I saw the commercial above his head. When we got to the police station he was beside me with his white shirt resting against my arm - so I told him I had to call the police but he knew I was lying. I was so excited that when I got into a taxi with him I barely realized I wasn't getting on a subway train" (2120).

Despite her humble roots, Myrtle makes a point of appearing sophisticated and wealthy. Nick finds her efforts cheesy and vulgar and spends a lot of time commenting on her attire, demeanor and conversational style.

She is unfamiliar with upper-class life: on one occasion, she tells her sister that Tom will not divorce Daisy because Daisy is Catholic. This is a little Fitzgerald inside joke - since Tom and Daisy are part of East Egg's community of super-WASPy residents, there's almost no chance that Daisy is Catholic. Believing Myrtle to accept Tom's lie shows that she is not as well educated as she thinks she is about the life and mores of the elite class she wants to belong to.

But before the romance begins, Tom has gotten used to showing Myrtle popular restaurants and doesn't hide the affair. Perhaps that's why Myrtle doesn't understand what she means to Tom: she doesn't seem to realize that she's just one in a line of lovers.

To see the events of Myrtle's life alongside the other characters, check out our The Great Gatsby timeline.

Summary of Myrtle's action in the novel

Myrtle Wilson's idea is introduced in Chapter 1 when she calls the Buchanan house to speak with Tom.

We get our first glimpse of Myrtle in Chapter 2, when Nick takes Tom to George Wilson's garage to meet her and then to a party at Myrtle's Manhattan apartment. That day she buys a dog, has sex with Tom (with Nick in the next room), throws a party and is fawned over by her friends, and ends up with a broken nose when Tom hits her after she accosts him in Daisy. This does not stop her from continuing the case.

Later in Chapter 7, George begins to suspect she is having an affair when he finds her dog's collar in a drawer in the house. He locks her in the top floor of his house, determined to move west as soon as he gets money from Tom from the sale of the car he's been waiting for. Myrtle sees Tom with Nick and Jordan driving to Manhattan in Gatsby's yellow car.

Myrtle and George get into a fight later that night and Myrtle manages to run out of the house after yelling at George to hit her and calling him a coward. At that moment, she spots the yellow car heading back to Long Island. Assuming it's Tom, she runs towards the car and then to the front of the car, waving her arms. But Daisy drives the car and decides to run Myrtle over instead of head-on into an oncoming car. She meets Myrtle, who dies instantly.

Myrtle's death devastates George emotionally and mentally, prompting him to murder Gatsby (who he believes is his wife's murderer and lover) and then kill himself.

How do the characters react to Myrtle's death? (1)

The Car of Death.

Myrtle Wilson Top Quotes

Mrs. Wilson had changed clothes some time ago and was now wearing an elaborate cream chiffon afternoon dress that rustled constantly as she crossed the room. With the influence of the dress, her personality also changed. The intense vitality that was so marked in the garage turned into impressive arrogance. Her laughter, her gestures, her claims grew more violent by the moment, and as she stretched, the space around her diminished until she seemed to spin in the smoky air on a high, creaking spindle. (2.56)

Here we see Myrtle transform from her more sensual physical persona into that of a person desperately trying to make herself richer than she really is. She wields power over her peer group and seems to revel in her own image.

Unlike Gatsby, who projects an elaborately rich and mundane character, Myrtle's persona is much simpler and more transparent. (Tom in particular, who immediately believes Gatsby to be a fake, doesn't seem bothered by Myrtle's pretensions - perhaps because they don't matter to him or threaten his way of life in some way.)

"Daisies! Daisies! Daisies!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilson. "I'll say it whenever I want! Daisy! Dai----"

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In one short, deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand. (2.125-126)

Here we see Myrtle pushing her boundaries with Tom - realizing he's violent and completely reluctant to be honest about his marriage.

While both characters are headstrong, impulsive, and driven by their desires, Tom fiercely asserts here that his needs are more important than Myrtle's. After all, Myrtle is just another lover for Tom and as available as everyone else.

Furthermore, this injury foreshadows Myrtle's death at the hands of Daisy herself. Although invoking Daisy's name here causes Tom to hurt Myrtle, Myrtle's actual encounter with Daisy later in the novel is fatal.

"Defeat me!" he heard her cry. "Throw me down and beat me, you dirty little coward!" (7,314)

When George confronts his wife about their affair, Myrtle is enraged and stabs her husband - already insecure since being cheated on - suggesting he is weak and less manly than Tom. Furthermore, his struggle revolves around his body and its treatment, while Tom and Daisy argue about their feelings at the beginning of the same chapter.

In that moment, we see that Myrtle's relationship with Tom, no matter how dangerous and hurtful it is, seems to demand that George treat her the way Tom did. Myrtle's unsettling acceptance of her role as just a body—essentially a piece of meat—foreshadows the gruesome physicality of her death.

Michaelis and this man reached her first, but when they ripped open the waistband of her sweaty shirt, they saw that her left breast was hanging like a flap and there was no need to listen for the heart underneath. Her mouth was gaping and torn at the corners, as if she had choked a little by giving up the tremendous vitality she had stored up for so long. (7,317)

Even in death, Myrtle's physicality and vitality are emphasized. In fact, the image is overtly sexual—note how Myrtle's chest is ripped open, and her mouth is open at the corners. This reflects Nick's view of Myrtle as a wife and lover, nothing more - even in death she becomes an object.

This moment is also much more violent than the previous broken nose. While this moment cemented Tom as abusive in the reader's eyes, it really shows the damage Tom and Daisy leave behind and sets the tragic tone for the rest of the novel.

How do the characters react to Myrtle's death? (2)

The graphic and bloody nature of Myrtle's death really sticks in your mind.

Common Writing Topics/Discussion Areas

You'll likely be asked to write about Myrtle in relation to other characters (especially Daisy), or in prompts asking you to match the book's "nerds" (including Gatsby, George Wilson) with the old money phrase (Tom, Daisy, Jordan ). To learn how to best approach this type of compare and contrast essay, read our article on common character pairs and how to analyze them.

It is less likely, but not impossible, to receive Myrtle-specific writing.

Anyway, Myrtle's most important chapters are 2 and 7, so read them carefully. When writing about her, pay close attention to Myrtle's interactions with other characters. And if you're writing an essay describing Myrtle as someone trying to live the American dream, be sure to address her biggest influences and motivations. We'll see some of these strategies in action below.

Why do Tom and Myrtle get together? What do you see in each other?

For readers new to Gatsby, Tom and Myrtle's relationship might seem a little strange. There's obvious physical chemistry, but it can be hard to understand why neoclassical, misogynistic Tom puts up with Myrtle - or why Myrtle puts up with Tom's mistreatment.

For Tom, the case - just one in a row since his honeymoon - is about taking and getting what he wants. Having an affair is a display of power. Especially since he's been taking her to popular Manhattan restaurants (2.4), it's clear he's not exactly hiding the relationship — instead, he's flaunting it. He is so sure of his place in society as a wealthy man that he is free to engage in risky and socially inappropriate behavior - knowing that no one can challenge his wealth or social standing.

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For Myrtle, the case (the first one) is about escaping her life with George and experiencing a world - Manhattan, money, beautiful things - that she would not otherwise have access to. From the way Myrtle moves and speaks, it's clear that she's confident and self-assured, assuming that her relationship with Tom is a permanent ticket to the world of the rich-not just a passing glimpse.

The fact that Tom sees Myrtle as expendable but Myrtle expects more from their relationship is painfully evident at the end of Chapter 2 when she insists on raising Daisy and Tom responds by breaking Myrtle's nose. But despite this unpleasant encounter, the two continue their relationship, suggesting that this kind of abuse is the norm in Tom's affairs, and Myrtle is too eager to stay in the new world she's found - or even believes that Tom Daisy is yet to leave. her - that she will stay.

By the end of the novel, Myrtle appears not to be entirely wrong about Tom's affection for her. After all, Tom says he "cried like a baby" (9.145) when he found dog food for the dog he had bought her in Myrtle's apartment. Of course, being Tom, his pain is more self-pitying than altruistic. However, their relationship is indicative of both values: Myrtle's ambition and Tom's callousness.

What does Myrtle's life (and its tragic end) say about the American dream?

Myrtle, like George and Gatsby, is obviously not born with money and instead relies on her own wits to succeed in 1920s America. Like Gatsby, she consciously assumes a different persona in order to gain access to a wealthier circle ( while George seems to be the only one who depends on honest work - his shop - and honest relationships, through his loyalty to Myrtle, to be getting better in life).

But Myrtle aims too high and is killed when she mistakes Gatsby's yellow car for Tom's and runs into the street, assuming the car will stop for her.

Just as Gatsby overestimates his worth to Daisy, Myrtle overestimates her worth to Tom. Even if Tom had been driving the car and stopped for her, he would never have taken her away from George, divorced Daisy and married her. Also, the fact that she assumes the bright yellow car was Tom's shows how little she understands the old hard money world Tom comes from.

Myrtle's complete misunderstanding of Tom, as well as his violent death, dovetail with the book's overall cynical message that the American Dream is a false promise for those born outside of America's wealthy class. No matter how hard anyone tries, they have no chance of competing with those in America who were born into the old money class. They will never understand the strange internal rules that govern the old exchange rate, and they will never get a chance to match them.

How does Myrtle's home reflect her character, attitudes, beliefs and values?

This is a prompt that you can obviously use on either character, but it's particularly interesting in Myrtle's case, as she has two apartments: the house above the car shop that George owns and the apartment that Tom Buchanan rents for his city.

Myrtle's Home with George is a bleak and hopeless picture of working-class life in America: it's an apartment above an empty garage, nestled in the horrible valley of ashes. George is fully immersed in this house, even though it is covered in a thin layer of ash from the factories outside. In contrast, Myrtle is alive and free of ash, giving her a layer of separation from her true home.

Myrtle's apartment with Tom is messy and chic, and she seems much happier and more at home there. The mix of sophisticated sophistication in the decor and its understated entertainment shows how Myrtle appreciates the appearance of wealth and sophistication, but doesn't really understand what upper-class tastes like Tom and Daisy Buchanan are.

So while Wilson's garage is a testament to working-class struggle in America in the 1920s, Myrtle and Tom's apartment is a physical representation of the airs and graces Myrtle had and the appearance of wealth she enjoyed.

How do the characters react to Myrtle's death? (3)

Myrtle's taste in furniture greatly overlaps that of King Louis XIV.

Why is Myrtle walking straight out into the street?

One of the main events in the novel may also be confusing for students: namely, Myrtle's death at the end of Chapter 7. How exactly does she end up on the street? What does this have to do with her awkward encounter with Tom, Nick and Jordan in the garage earlier in the day?

The incident is confusing because we look at it from multiple narrative angles:

  • Nick's point of view setup
  • Michaelis investigative statement on the accident
  • Nick's description of the crash scene shortly after Myrte's death
  • Gatsby's explanation of the accident to Nick after the fact
  • Additional information from Michaelis in Chapter 8 on George's actions before and after Myrtle's death
  • A final revealing confession from Tom about his role in George's rampage in Chapter 9

Putting these three shots of the incident together, the following happens in this order:

  1. Before the accident, George became suspicious of Myrtle's affair.
  2. George locks Myrtle in the garage, saying "She'll stay there until the day after tomorrow and then we'll move" (7.311).
  3. Michaelis, uneasy, finds an excuse to leave.
  4. Tom, Jordan and Nick drive the yellow car to the gas station. Tom brags that the car is his. Myrtle looks down and comes to two things: first, that Jordan is Tom's wife, and second, that Tom owns the yellow car.
  5. Later that night, Myrtle argues with George about being arrested. We don't see much of this fight. All we know is that she screams, "Throw me down and hit me!" (7,314) for George.
  6. Meanwhile, Gatsby and Daisy return to East Egg from Manhattan after their confrontation at the Plaza Hotel.
  7. Myrtle runs outside.
  8. Outside, Myrtle sees the yellow car and assumes it is Tom heading back to Long Island.
  9. Myrtle runs to the car and waves her arms, presumably thinking Tom is going to stop for her and save her from George.
  10. At the same time, another car drives in the opposite direction towards Manhattan.
  11. When Daisy sees Myrtle on the road, she has to make a quick decision: run over Myrtle or swerve into the oncoming car to avoid Myrtle.
  12. Daisy jumps into the oncoming car first, but backs into her own lane at the last second, hitting and killing Myrtle.

What is the next?

Still a little confused about the novel's climax? Get a detailed synopsis of Chapters 7, 8 and 9 to understand exactly how the three deaths come about.

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Find out more about Myrtle's marriage and her relationship with Tom in our love and relationships post.

Still confused about old money/new money/working class issues? Read more about social classes in the novel in our post on the role of social classes in the novel.

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How do the characters react to Myrtle's death? (5)

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Drag. Anna Wulick

About the author

Hitting the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, Anna majored in English at Princeton and earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia. She is passionate about improving students' access to higher education.

How does Tom react to Myrtle's death?

He is wracked with grief when he sees Myrtle's lifeless body lying on a work table. Tom discovers that the car that hit Myrtle matched Gatsby's in the description. Tone,visibly upset by the day's events, can only whimper with rage at the man she already hates.

Did Tom and Nick witness Myrte's death?

There are witnesses to the incident, including the Wilsons' neighbor Michaelis.Nick, Tom and Jordan, following in another vehicle, stop at the scene and learn of Myrtle's death.. Gatsby later tells Nick that although Daisy was driving, he intends to take the blame for the accident.

How does Daisy feel about killing Myrtle?

After Daisy fled the scene, she had nothing to gain by killing Myrtle, known from what Gatsby told Nick.

How did the characters react to Gatsby's death?

Nick is stunned by the bitter injusticeof Gatsby's lonely death. For all the people who attended Gatsby's parties, no one but a man known only as "Owl Eyes" bothered to show up to his funeral (and he didn't make it to the gate until after the services ended). ).


How did the characters react to Myrtle's death? ›

How does Tom react to Myrtle's death? Tom immediately establishes his alibi and states that he has no idea where the yellow car is and that it was not his. However, later on, during the ride home, he begins to cry.

How does Daisy react to Myrtle's death? ›

Daisy becoming upset and trying to escape runs over Myrtle Wilson (Fitzgerald). Daisy does not care or have any sympathy towards her death she doesn't even confess but let's Gatsby take the blame because he was in the car with her (Willhite).

What is Tom's reaction to Myrtle dying? ›

He is grief-stricken to find Myrtle's lifeless body lying on a worktable. Tom learns the car that struck Myrtle matches Gatsby's in description. Tom, visibly upset by the day's events, can only whimper of his anger toward the man he already hates.

How does George feel after Myrtle's death? ›

After Myrtle's death, George sinks into a severe depression. He tells Michaelis that he warned Myrtle that God knew what she had been doing. Fixated on the large eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg on a billboard outside his shop, he tells Michaelis that God sees everything.

What happened during Myrtle's death? ›

As Gatsby's car approaches the garage, Myrtle, who has been arguing with her husband, sees the vehicle and mistakenly believes that Tom Buchanan is driving it. She runs into the road, intending to speak with him but she is hit and killed. The car fails to stop.

Who is to blame for Myrtle's death chapter 7? ›

As they discuss what happened, Nick realizes that it was actually Daisy who was driving the car, meaning that it was Daisy who killed Myrtle.

Did Tom know Daisy killed Myrtle? ›

Tom realises that it was Gatsby's car that struck and killed Myrtle. Back at Daisy and Tom's home, Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy was driving the car that killed Myrtle but he will take the blame.

Does Daisy know she killed Myrtle? ›

Daisy, who doesn't know Myrtle, is driving the car when it strikes Myrtle down; Daisy doesn't even stop to see what happened, and escapes without consequences. The lower class characters – Gatsby, Myrtle, and George – are thus essentially sacrificed for the moral failings of the upper class characters of Tom and Daisy.

Was Daisy drunk when she killed Myrtle? ›

George shot Gatsby in his swimming pool, but little did George know that it was actually Daisy who had been driving that night, it was Daisy who had driven drunk & upset, it was Daisy who hit Myrtle & didn't stop to see if she was okay.

Is Tom to blame for Myrtle's death? ›

Wilson would seek him out and he would kill him, and yet he proceeds with his deception. This aspect makes him directly and morally accountable for Gatsby's death (Hou, 2022). Despite Tom's lie, it is evident that the individual responsible for Myrtle's death is Daisy Buchanan.

Does Tom really love Myrtle? ›

Myrtle sees the affair as romantic and a ticket out of her marriage, while Tom sees it as just another affair, and Myrtle as one of a string of mistresses. The pair has undeniable physical chemistry and attraction to each other, perhaps more than any other pairing in the book.

Who does Tom say killed Myrtle? ›

Nick initially refuses to shake Tom's hand but eventually accepts. 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.

Why is Myrtle's death ironic? ›

First, Daisy Buchanan is the driver of the mysterious “death car”—she's the one who accidentally runs over and kills Myrtle. This is ironic because while the reader knows that Tom Buchanan had been having an affair with Myrtle, Daisy has no idea that the woman she killed was her husband's mistress.

Who kills Myrtle Wilson? ›

Myrtle Wilson dies due to the car accident. Although everyone thought Gatsby had killed Myrtle, as she was hit by his yellow car, Daisy was driving the car that night. Gatsby just took the blame for her.

What does Wilson realize after Myrtle is killed? ›

Wilson goes somewhat crazy after Myrtle's death, and slowly becomes convinced that the driver of the yellow car that killed her was also her lover, and that he killed her on purpose. He sets out to hunt the owner of the yellow car down.

What did Myrtle do before she died? ›

But Myrtle aims too high, and ends up killed when she mistakes Gatsby's yellow car for Tom's, and runs out in the road assuming the car will stop for her.

What page is Myrtle killed? ›

Myrtle Wilson, a woman who is said to have 'tremendous vitality' (p. 131), has had her nose broken by Tom Buchanan, and now she is killed by a car driven by Daisy. Remember that earlier that day Myrtle had seen Tom driving the 'death car' (p. 131); she later ran into the road, desperate to speak with him.

What did Myrtle's death symbolize? ›

Myrtle's death symbolizes the death of the American Dream because she is someone who tried to achieve it and move up in life but was ultimately killed because of it. The repeated appearance of the green light motif is used to represent the American Dream. Once that light dies, the Dream dies with it.

Did Daisy run over Myrtle on purpose? ›

When Myrtle sees the yellow car coming down the road, she assumes it's Tom, breaks out of her room, and runs out to seek his help. Myrtle's mistake proves fatal when Daisy, who's driving Gatsby's car, accidentally hits her, killing her instantly.

Does Tom cheat on Myrtle? ›

Tom gets angry at Myrtle and hits her in the face, breaking her nose. It is revealed through Jordan's story that Tom has a history of cheating on his wife, even as early as weeks after their honeymoon.

Did Tom cheat on Daisy with Myrtle? ›

Since the early days of his marriage to Daisy, Tom has had affairs with other women. Throughout the novel he commits adultery with Myrtle Wilson, a working-class woman married to a garage mechanic.

What car killed Myrtle? ›

In Chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby, Myrtle Wilson dies after Gatsby's yellow car hit her. According to Gatsby, it was Daisy Buchanan who was driving the car that killed Myrtle.

Does Daisy get killed? ›

Daisy was a puppy given to the former assassin John Wick as a present from his late wife Helen shortly after her death. However, Daisy was killed during a home invasion by Iosef Tarasov, sparking a rage in John that triggered him to return to his past career.

Who killed Jay Gatsby? ›

The most famous murder in American literature is that of the titular hero in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, published in 1925. Jay Gatsby is shot to death in the swimming pool of his mansion by George Wilson, a gas-station owner who believes Gatsby to be the hit-and-run driver who killed his wife, Myrtle.

Who found Gatsby's body? ›

Nick finds Gatsby's body floating in the pool and, while starting to the house with the body, the gardener discovers Wilson's lifeless body off in the grass. Chapter 8 displays the tragic side of the American dream as Gatsby is gunned down by George Wilson.

Why did Daisy cry over the shirts? ›

Daisy isn't really talking about—or weeping over—the shirts from England. Her strong emotional reaction comes from the excitement of Gatsby having the proper wealth, and perhaps remorse over the complexity of the situation; he is finally a man she could marry, but she is already wed to Tom.

Did Daisy ever love Gatsby? ›

Eventually, Gatsby won Daisy's heart, and they made love before Gatsby left to fight in the war. Daisy promised to wait for Gatsby, but in 1919 she chose instead to marry Tom Buchanan, a young man from a solid, aristocratic family who could promise her a wealthy lifestyle and who had the support of her parents.

What does Daisy suffer from? ›

Daisy is a beautiful, well-groomed young woman whose only real outward sign of her illness is being reclusive and unwilling to socialize. However, she suffers from severe obsessive compulsive disorder and a laxative addiction, and is also deeply traumatized from a lifetime of abuse at the hands of her father.

How does George find out who killed Myrtle? ›

Tom confesses that George first came to Tom's house that night. There, Tom told him that the yellow car was Gatsby's and insinuated that Gatsby was the one who killed Myrtle and the one who was sleeping with her (9.143).

Who is most at fault for Myrtle's death Why? ›

Daisy is responsible for Myrtles death because she was in the car and she ran her over in Gatsby"s car which ultimately caused Gatsby's death as well.

What first attracted Gatsby to Daisy? ›

The first thing that attracted Gatsby was Daisy's wealth – her house in particular ('there was a ripe mystery about it'). This removes the idea that he was attracted to Daisy in herself. He was – and still is – attracted to the 'money' in her.

Does Tom slap Myrtle? ›

Myrtle says she will say Daisy's name any time she wants, so Tom slaps her across the face and breaks her nose.

Did Daisy really love Tom? ›

The relationship between Tom and Daisy is built more on money rather than love, however, there is little bits of love. Daisy marries Tom because of his wealth, but throughout their relationship she does, fall in love with Tom at least once.

Who is Myrtle attracted to? ›

Myrtle is attracted to the handsome, powerful (physically and socially) Tom, and is immensely dissatisfied with her husband.

Why does Tom cheat with Myrtle? ›

Tom is involved with Myrtle because he is bored, and their affair offers him an exciting break from his normal life. He likes the idea of having a secret. As a member of the upper class, he is supposed to comport himself with decorum and restraint.

Is Tom lying to Myrtle? ›

For example, Tom is entirely comfortable lying. He maintains a mistress, lying to Daisy about his phone calls. And it turns out that he is lying to Myrtle as well, telling her that the reason he can't divorce his wife is that Daisy is a Catholic.

How is Myrtle's death foreshadowed? ›

Myrtle killed by a car

Early in the book, Nick leaves Gatsby's party and sees a car in a ditch, “violently shorn of one wheel,” an image echoed later by the sight of Myrtle's “left breast swinging loose like a flap” after she is hit by the car.

Does Gatsby care about Myrtle's death? ›

Gatsby, while not the driver, is also guilty of detaching himself from other people's feelings and needs. He appears to care only about how Daisy is feeling after the accident—he doesn't seem concerned about Myrtle or George Wilson.

Who hit Myrtle in the face? ›

Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke [Myrtle's] nose with his open hand. The event described here occurs in Chapter 2, when Myrtle insists on her right to say Daisy's name aloud in Tom's presence. Tom tells her to stop, and when she doesn't, he hits her.

Did Myrtle cheat on Wilson? ›

Myrtle is so desperate for a luxurious life she decides to cheat on her husband George. But little does she know this affair is all fun and games but later on will lead her to death.

How does Wilson react to Myrtle's death? ›

He is suddenly sickened by Jordan and the Buchanans. He blames Tom's involvement with Myrtle for her death, but sees how unconcerned Jordan is with the situation.

Did Daisy and Gatsby sleep together? ›

Gatsby reveals details of his and Daisy's long ago courtship. He was enthralled by her wealth, her big house, and the idea of men loving her. To be with Daisy, he pretended to be of the same social standing as her. One night, they slept together, and he felt like they were married.

Who tries to comfort Wilson after Myrtle's death? ›

After Myrtle's death, Michaelis talks to George Wilson, trying to comfort him. Here, Michaelis notes Wilson looking out to the valley of ashes, as if the landscape is speaking to him.

What was Nick's reaction to Myrtle's death? ›

Nick: He felt sick and wanted to be left alone. He obviously felt bad about Myrtle and for George.

How does Nick feel about Myrtle? ›

Nick's first impression of Myrtle Wilson, recounted in Chapter 2, emphasizes a sense of “vitality” emanating from her physical presence. Despite not being a particularly beautiful woman, Myrtle possesses a liveliness and energy that proves captivating.

Which characters are responsible for Myrtle's death? ›

In Chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby, Myrtle Wilson dies after Gatsby's yellow car hit her. According to Gatsby, it was Daisy Buchanan who was driving the car that killed Myrtle.

How does Nick feel after the automobile accident? ›

Initially, Nick did not seem to have a reaction to the crash or at least one that was clearly expressed. At first he seems to merely be an observer to all the madness. Its not until later that it is more clear how nick is feeling when he remarks, "I was feeling a little sick and I wanted to be alone."

Did Nick know Daisy killed Myrtle? ›

Tom realises that it was Gatsby's car that struck and killed Myrtle. Back at Daisy and Tom's home, Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy was driving the car that killed Myrtle but he will take the blame.

Who is guilty for Myrtle's death? ›

Daisy is responsible for Myrtles death because she was in the car and she ran her over in Gatsby"s car which ultimately caused Gatsby's death as well.

Does Myrtle actually love Tom? ›

Tom and Myrtle have a passionate love affair. But as they are both married to other people, the timing is wrong to the conventions of marriage. And even if they were both single, their relationship would likely not last long in a society that would judge Myrtle poorly because she is not from a wealthy family like Tom.

Did Nick and Mr McKee sleep together? ›

McKee did not sleep together or even if Fitzgerald did not mean to imply as much, the fact that Mr. McKee and Nick are together in their underwear is not typical for two heterosexual men in the 1920s.

Why did Tom hit Myrtle? ›

Tom hits Myrtle because she refused to obey him, but also in defense of Daisy; he feels strongly about both women. Tom's outburst therefore shows that he has difficulty handling complex emotions. He responds with violence to maintain control.

Does Nick take responsibility for Myrtle's death? ›

Nick's tolerance for dishonesty led his tolerance to reach an apex when he covered and hid the truth about Myrtle's death (Hou, 2022). He lets Gatsby take responsibility for the accident, and after Gatsby is shot, he abandons his corpse in the pool.

Does Daisy intentionally killed Myrtle? ›

Possibly drunk from the day in the city, Daisy carelessly strikes Myrtle with Gatsby's car. She then negligently speeds off from the scene of the accident without stopping. She is only thinking about herself rather than the woman she struck.

What does Nick realize at the end? ›

But here's what we think is going on: Nick realizes that chasing a future dream just ends up miring us in the past. All of our dreams are based on visions of our past self, like Gatsby who in the past believed that he would end up with Daisy and who believed in the American myth of the self-made man.

What does Nick realize at the end of Chapter 7? ›

Realizing he has bested Gatsby, Tom sends Daisy back to Long Island with Gatsby to prove Gatsby's inability to hurt him. As the row quiets down, Nick realizes that it is his thirtieth birthday.

Does Nick survive the car crash? ›

Nick was the tenth and last survivor of the crash to die, and chronologically the last survivor to die in the entire series.


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