In The Great Gatsby, how is Gatsby's funeral scene a contrast to the party scenes presented earlier in the novel?
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Hundreds of people had flocked to join Gatsby's parties, whether they were invited or not. However, when Nick starts making calls to people about Gatsby's funeral, he finds no one wants to attend. Tom and Daisy have left town, Meyer Wolfsheim gives his regrets, and no one that Nick calls agrees to come to the funeral. Only Gatsby's father sends a telegram asking that the funeral be postponed so that he can get there. The only people who finally attend are Nick, Mr. Gatz, the minister, a few servants and the postman from West Egg. Daisy never even sends flowers. Owl Eyes sums it up when he drives up to and then leaves the cemetery, —“The poor son-of-a-bitch”— the only eulogy Gatsby receives.
Gatsby's funeral is the absolute antithesis of his parties, it can be argued that this is probably the most profound point of the novel. Fitzgerald juxaposes the parties against the funeral to force the reader to re-evaluate their own values. I think it is fair to say life in the 1920's was not what it appeared to be. Fitzgerald challenged American society to face the music...even if it was "The Charleston".
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