Whar does Nick say is the only compliment he ever gave Gatsby and why does he respect Gatsby?Chapters 8 or 9, Quotes if possible from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Eight of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," Nick listens to the history of Gatsby's love affair with Daisy, a tale full of melancholy introspection upon Gatsby's part.  As Nick leaves for his train, he comments that he did not want to leave Gatsby; they shake hands, and as Nick starts to leave, he calls back,

'They're a rotten crowd...You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.'

The realization comes to Nick that of all his rich acquaintances  Gatsby is the only pure one.  His romantic committing of himself "to the following of a grail" is, of itself poignant.  But, when Gatsby says that he "took" Daisy and then felt the obligation of marrying her, bespeaks much to Nick of the honor of his friend.

In Chapter Nine, Nick repays this honor and promises his dead friend that he will

get somebody for you...Don't worry. Just trust me and I'll get somebody for you--

In Chapter Nine, Nick, of course, is the only friend who attends Gatsby's funeral; thus, he pays Gatsby the compliment of respect.  The symbolically wise character, "Owl-Eyes," arrives and remarks upon how so many came and went to Gatsby's house, but yet they are not present.  Then, at the end of this chapter, Nick reflects upon Gatsby's having noticed the "green light at the end of Daisy's dock."

He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.  He did not know that it was already behind him...It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther...And one fine morning---

Nick compliments Jay Gatsby by admiring his idealism.  A Gatsby, Nick says, is the best that America can produce.

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The Great Gatsby

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