How Did Gatsby Die?

The Great Gatsby, it really does live in the hall of fame when it comes to classic books.

This is probably why the novel is so often an important part of Literature in schools.

How Did Gatsby Die

The book covers so many different themes and poses many important questions.

Throughout the book, you’ll bare witness to some of the biggest and most lavish parties, you’ll discover secrets through themes of lust and love, and of course, on a darker note death is certainly prevalent throughout.

Throughout this article, we’ll take a closer look at death throughout this story, in particular how the main character Jay Gatsby dies.

Who Is Jay Gatsby? 

Jay Gatsby is the protagonist in The Great Gatsby. In the story, he lives in a home situated in the West Egg, New York.

He lives in the less fashionable, and less wealthy area as opposed to his richer companions who reside in the East Egg.

Gatsby spends rather a lot of time in the richer area converting the wealth that his friends possess. 

While Gatsby is far from poor, it is implied throughout the story that his money comes from means that are not honorable.

There are references throughout that lead the reader to believe that Gatsby made his living through bootlegging. 

What Is Bootlegging? 

Throughout the 1920s the creation and sale of alcohol were illegal due to the prohibition. And in fact, that wasn’t all, in fact for most parts of America, owning or drinking any form of alcohol was also not legal. 

Did that stop people from drinking? Not really.

It just meant those that wanted their fix had to do so illegally.

For the most part, those who were selling alcohol illegally (bootlegging) were involved and controlled by members of the mafia. 

So if Gatsby was bootlegging to amass his fortune, it means that the richer East Egg socialites weren’t the only people he was cavorting with. No, in fact, Gatsby would have had some ties to the dangerous side of the criminal underworld. 

Sordid Life In Both The East And West Egg

Illegal activity wasn’t the only immoral theme throughout the story of The Great Gatsby.

Infidelity and secret affairs are riddled throughout the storyline. It is quite clear that our main protagonist Jay Gatsby has a deep history with Tom Buchanan’s wife Daisy.

It is revealed that the two spent the night together before Gatsby left for the Army, but she does not wait for his return and instead marries Tom for security. 

Regardless of their vows, Gatsby’s and Daisy’s relationship does not end.

The two continue to have an affair. Daisy’s husband, however, is also anything far from faithful as he too is in love with another; Myrtle Wilson. 

And though all parties are involved in an unfaithful relationship, that does not stop tensions and jealousies from rearing their ugly heads.

And in the end, these complicated relationships between the characters become their very own undoing. 

Who Dies In The Great Gatsby? 

The first of these four characters to meet their end is mistress Myrtle Wilson. Daisy, Gatsby, and Tom get into a rather large argument while in a hotel in New York City.

While this argument takes place, Tom reveals to Daisy that Gatsby has earned his money in immoral ways and Daisy ultimately chooses Tom over her former lover.

Daisy is then sent home to the East Egg, she is escorted home in a yellow automobile that is owned and driven by Jay Gatsby.

However, while Daisy gets behind the wheel, she hits Tom’s mistress Myrtle.

The hit is fatal, though Daisy does not stop driving to actually find out whether or not Myrtle is okay. 

Tom, a character names Jordan Baker, and narrator Nick Carraway, also head home in a similar direction to Gatsby and Daisy.

On their drive home, they find Myrtle’s dead body on the side of the road, and Tom, who has now lost his lover is set to revenge her death and rid his life of Gatsby once and for all. 

How Does Jay Gatsby Die? 

Jay Gatsby admits the truth to Nick Carraway that he was not driving when Myrtle was struck by the car.

He does also tell Nick that he intends to take the blame for his lover.

However, Tom, heartbroken from losing his lover, and enraged to find out that his wife was having an affair, instantly informs Myrtle’s husband George that Gatsby had murdered his wife. 

Who Kills Jay Gatsby? 

Upon hearing that his wife has been murdered, George decides to take the law into his own hands.

Immediately, George heads to Gatsby’s home. George shoots and kills Gatsby and then takes his own life. 

Why Did George Kill Gatsby? 

It is made obvious throughout the story that George is not particularly clever or observant.

He is aware that his wife Myrtle is having an affair but he does not know who her lover is.

When he hears the news from Tom, he automatically assumes that Jay Gatsby is the nameless lover that has been having an affair with his wife.

Caught up in the anger of ‘finding out’ who his wife had been sleeping with, and that she had been murdered, George is set on revenge. 

Final Thoughts

And that is really everything you need to know in terms of the death of Gatsby.

After Gatsby dies, a small funeral is held for him. Once this is over the narrator Nick Carraway leaves Long Island and does not come back.

He reflects on how such a wealthy era was filled with such moral decay.

Tom and Daisy return to their normal lives and the love letter to the Gilded Age comes to an end. 

If you haven’t already read The Great Gatsby I cannot recommend it enough! 

Sophie Andrea