What are some quotes from chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby, specifically the scene where Gatsby takes the blame for Myrtle's death? I'm trying to show how this can both make him a good and bad person.

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Gatsby admits to Nick that Daisy was driving the car and was the one who ran over Myrtle:

"Was Daisy driving?"

"Yes," he said after a moment, "but of course I’ll say I was. You see, when we left New York she was very nervous and she thought it would...

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steady her to drive—and this woman rushed out at us just as we were passing a car coming the other way. It all happened in a minute but it seemed to me that she wanted to speak to us, thought we were somebody she knew."

Gatsby is a good person in his attempt to shield Daisy from blame for the accident and take the fall for her—a fall that will lead to his death.

On the other hand, Gatsby enabled Daisy to do what she and Tom always do, which is to get away with their misdeeds without accountability. Gatsby might have done her a favor in the end if he forced her to face that she killed a person. We might wonder why, as Gatsby describes it, Daisy lost "her nerve" and

turned away from the woman toward the other car, and then she lost her nerve and turned back. The second my hand reached the wheel I felt the shock—it must have killed her instantly

Daisy was willing to make a decision to hit another human being rather than another car, presumably because she thought hitting the other car would cause more damage and more trouble for her. She preferred to run someone over to getting hurt herself or even to having to stop and get out of the car. We also have to wonder if it occurred to her all of a sudden that this was Tom's girlfriend, and she saw a chance to get rid of a rival.

Whatever the reason, Daisy had a choice and made the one that cost another person her life—and was willing to let Gatsby take the blame for it. If she had had to take the responsibility for it, maybe she would have learned to be more careful about wrecking other people's lives in the future, knowing there were consequences for her. On the other hand, Gatsby showed that his love for Daisy was pure to the end.

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When Nick, Jordan, and Tom have returned to the Buchanans' house, sometime after the car Daisy was driving hit Myrtle Wilson and killed her instantly, Nick and Gatsby talk outside the house. Gatsby has waited around to make sure that Tom does not give Daisy any trouble or offer her any physical violence as a result of the altercation in New York City. He asks Nick if the person who was hit died, and when Nick replies in the affirmative, Gatsby says, "I thought so; I told Daisy I thought so. It's better that the shock should all come at once. She stood it pretty well." Gatsby speaks, as Nick realizes, as though the only important thing (or at least the most important thing) is how Daisy feels, not that a woman was killed. This makes Gatsby seem rather callous and unfeeling; he does not really offer any evidence of concern for Myrtle or her family and friends now that she is dead. He is, obviously, extremely concerned about Daisy's feelings, and this shows his love of her, certainly. Further, when Nick asks him what happened, Gatsby says, "'Well, I tried to swing the wheel—' He broke off, and suddenly [Nick] guessed at the truth." This slip of the tongue reveals that Gatsby himself was not actually driving the car and that Daisy, in fact, was driving. Gatsby admits this, and he says, "but of course I'll say I was [driving]." The fact that he is willing to take the blame so that Daisy need not be troubled by it is kind, in a way, but his lack of concern for the woman Daisy killed is alarming and reflects poorly on his character.

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As Nick is leaving Daisy's home, Gatsby is hiding in a nearby bush and calls his name. When Nick walks over to Gatsby, Gatsby asks several questions concerning the woman who was hit by the car. Gatsby also mentions that he ended up parking the car in his garage when they arrived home. When Nick asks if Daisy was driving, Gatsby responds by saying, "Yes...but of course I’ll say I was" (Fitzgerald, 163). Gatsby continues to explain why he is waiting outside of her home and tells Nick,

"I’m just going to wait here and see if he tries to bother her about that unpleasantness this afternoon. She’s locked herself into her room, and if he tries any brutality she’s going to turn the light out and on again" (Fitzgerald, 164).

Gatsby's decision to take the blame for Myrtle Wilson's death demonstrates his genuine love and concern for Daisy. His affection and unselfish behavior reveal his good nature. However, Gatsby's willingness to lie and hide Daisy's involvement in Myrtle's death reveals his immoral disposition. Gatsby is an inherently good person, who has let material wealth and social status corrupt him.

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Do you not have a copy of the book to work from? If you do, then read over chapter 7 a couple of times to find just the right text for what you want to express.

In case you don't have the book, here's an excerpt from chapter 7:

I hadn’t gone twenty yards when I heard my name and Gatsby stepped from between two bushes into the path....

“What are you doing?” I inquired.

“Just standing here, old sport.”...

“Did you see any trouble on the road?” he asked after a minute.


He hesitated.

“Was she killed?”


“I thought so; I told Daisy I thought so. It’s better that the shock should all come at once. She stood it pretty well.”

As Nick says, "He spoke as if Daisy’s reaction was the only thing that mattered." Gatsby is more concerned about Daisy's feelings than the fact that a woman has just been killed. Gatsby tells Nick that he is going to watch the house until he is sure Daisy has gone to bed, perhaps a way to assure himself that she is all right. In that sense, you could point out his goodness in that he does care for her well-being. However, that cannot excuse his callousness over Myrtle's death.

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