How does "The Great Gatsby" use the elements of crime, mystery and detective fiction in the book?I have read it, and the only thing I can really relate to is Gatsby being a bootlegger. Please help?

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

luannw's profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

The first and most important crimes that comes to mind are the murders of Myrtle and of Gatsby.  Myrtle's death, though an accident, was a murder in that it was a hit and run situation. The mystery surrounding her death was why did she run into the road and, until Jay lets it slip that Daisy was driving when talking to Nick, who was driving the car.  Gatsby's death even more clearly includes those elements of a detective novel.  The biggest mystery surrounding his death is how did George know to go to Gatsby's house.  In the last chapter, Nick sees Tom after a period of about two years following Jay's death.  His narration says that he looked at Tom and, "...I knew I had guessed right about those missing hours," referring to the three hours where the police, when tracking George's movements the day of the murder, lost track of George.  The reader can only guess at where George had been and what he'd been told.  The assumption is that George went to Tom's house where Tom directed him to Jay.  Did Tom tell George that Jay had been having an affair with Myrtle?  Did Tom know that it was actually Daisy driving the car or did he assume that Jay was driving?  Did Tom deliberately lead George to Jay so that George could kill Jay or was Tom unaware of what George was planning?  These are all questions to which we are not given answers and we must play detective to solve the mystery of those questions. The questions surrounding how Jay Gatsby made his fortune are there, but they seem of less importance than the questions surrounding the deaths of Myrtle and Jay.

We’ve answered 317,573 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question