What song describes Gatsby's death in The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald?

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Don McLean song "American Pie" might be a fitting song to describe Gatsby's death. For example, at the beginning of the song, the lyrics are as follows: "And I knew if I had my chance / That I could make those people dance / And maybe they'd be happy for a while." Gatsby tries to make party-goers at his house happy for a little while, so this line fits him. 

In addition, another part of the song is as follows: "Well, I know that you're in love with him." This could be a reference to Gatsby's awareness that Daisy will always still love Tom and stay with him, which is apparent to Gatsby by the time of his death. Finally, though there is still some debate about the meaning of McLean's lyrics "bye, bye, Miss American Pie," they could be interpreted as saying goodbye to the American Dream that Gatsby tried to pursue. Gatsby tried to live the dream of rising from humble origins to achieve wealth and status. When Gatsby died, his dream died with him. 

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question