In Chapter 9 of The Great Gatsby, how and why does Nick lie?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nick's lie is one of omission.  When he runs into Tom Buchanan and asks Tom about what he told Wilson, it was evident from Tom's response that Tom still believed Jay Gatsby was driving the car that hit and killed Myrtle Wilson.  Daisy never told Tom the truth - that she was driving that car.  Nick didn't correct Tom because he knew it would be pointless.  He knew that even if Tom knew the truth, he would not take any responsibility for his part in the series of events nor would he let Daisy shoulder any of the responsibility.  In Tom's mind, Jay was guilty while he and Daisy were merely innocent by-standers.  As Nick noted after the encounter with Tom, Tom and Daisy were careless people. They were both spoiled rich people who would continue through life taking no responsibility for their actions.

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The Great Gatsby

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