What were the circumstances of Myrtle Wilson's death in The Great Gatsby?

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Leading up to Myrtle Wilson's death in chapter seven, Tom Buchanan suggests that Gatsby allow him to drive his vehicle into the city and proceeds to stop at George Wilson 's gas station on the way. Before Tom arrives at the gas station, George Wilson discovers that Myrtle has...

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Leading up to Myrtle Wilson's death in chapter seven, Tom Buchanan suggests that Gatsby allow him to drive his vehicle into the city and proceeds to stop at George Wilson's gas station on the way. Before Tom arrives at the gas station, George Wilson discovers that Myrtle has been cheating on him after he finds a dog collar. George ends up locking Myrtle in their upstairs apartment and plans on moving out west. When Tom stops at George's station to get gas in Gatsby's car, Myrtle sees him through the upstairs window and mistakes Daisy for Jordan Baker, who is riding with Tom and Nick into the city.

Once Tom, Nick, Jordan, Daisy, and Gatsby meet up in the city, they rent a room at the Plaza Hotel, where Tom ends up confronting Gatsby about carrying on an affair with Daisy. Tom proceeds to expose Gatsby as a notorious bootlegger, which astonishes Daisy, who decides to remain with Tom. Following Tom and Gatsby's heated argument, Tom allows Gatsby to drive Daisy home in Gatsby's car while he drives Nick and Jordan home in his own vehicle. Gatsby allows Daisy to drive his car in hopes that she will be able to blow off steam and settle down. As they are driving through the valley of ashes, Myrtle Wilson sees Gatsby's car and is under the impression that Tom is driving it. Myrtle rushes out into the middle of the street and Daisy runs her over, killing her instantly. After Daisy accidentally kills Myrtle, Gatsby drives the rest of the way home and takes the blame for Myrtle's death. Once Tom discovers that Myrtle was run over, he informs George that Jay Gatsby killed his wife, which motivates George to seek revenge and murder Gatsby.

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Myrtle Wilson's husband found out she was having an affair, though he did not know the identity of her lover. He locked her up in her bedroom so she couldn't contact her lover, but she ended up getting out and trying to stop an oncoming car driven by Daisy, because Myrtle erroneously believed Tom was driving it. Then she was struck down and killed.

Daisy does not stop to help Myrtle. She is distraught and drunk. So, Gatsby ultimately takes the blame for her irresponsibility. This leads to the final tragic death of the story: Gatsby's own.

There is irony in Myrtle's death, since she was trying to escape her life with Wilson. Instead, there was no escape, save from life itself in the end.

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A series of events lead up to Myrtle's death on the night in question. First, Tom stops at the station in Gatsby's car. Then, Myrtle and Wilson fight. He locks her up because he fears that she is going to try to leave him. She is becoming desperate for she fears that she is losing Tom as well. Meanwhile, tensions between Gatsby and Tom as well as Daisy's own sense of being trapped in the middle lead to an afternoon of drinking that relaxes judgement. Gatsby allows Daisy to drive his car, knowing that she is upset and intoxicated. This is the event that leads the car to be coming down the road at the exact moment Myrtle makes her escape. She sees the car and knows that Tom should be the one driving, so she ruins into the road to stop him. She is trying to escape but Daisy is running from her own demons and does not see her in time to  avoid her. Knowing what she has done, she does not stop. She keeps on running.

There is a distinct causal chain to the outcome of this evening. One thing leads to another and a tragedy is set in motion. Had Gatsby not offered Tom his car, the outcome would have been different for all concerned. While the offer of the car seems insignificant, it is the catalyst for the way things turn out in the end.

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The important detail concerning the accident that kills Myrtle in The Great Gatsby is that Myrtle is hailing the car, because she thinks Tom, the person she is having the affair with, is driving the car.

Earlier in the day when Tom stops for gas at the Wilson's business he is driving Gatsby's car.  From the room in which she is locked, Myrtle sees Tom and the car. 

When she sees the car coming her way that night, she runs out to flag it down, assuming Tom is inside.  That's how she gets hit. 

Of course, Daisy--Tom's wife, which is convenient--is driving and Gatsby is the passenger.  Tom is not in the car. 

Apparently, Myrtle assumes Tom is driving the car and that he will stop for her.  She is trying to escape "captivity" at the hands of her husband, Wilson.  Daisy, though, an inexperienced driver, runs her over instead, presumably by mistake.

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On the night that she died, Myrtle Wilson had been locked up in a room by her husband.  He had found out that she was having an affair (he did not know with whom) and he was going to keep her locked up until they could move somewhere else.

That night, she managed to get out of the locked room.  Then she ran out into the road and was run over by Daisy Buchanan.  The car belongs to Gatsby, but it is Daisy who is driving it.

You can find further details in Chapter 7 if you need them.

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