In The Great Gatsby, who attends Gatsby's funeral?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Gatsby's death, Nick attends his funeral, expecting the many people who took advantage of Gatsby's lavish parties to show up. However, he and Gatsby's father wait, and no one comes:

...I began to look involuntarily out the windows for other cars. So did Gatsby's father.... But it wasn't any use. Nobody came.
I heard a car stop and then the sound of someone splashing after us over the soggy ground. I looked around. It was the man with owl-eyed glasses whom I had found marvelling over Gatsby's books in the library one night three months before.
(Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby,

In the end, the only people at the funeral are Nick, Gatsby's father, and "Owl Eyes," who remarks on the hypocrisy of others. Owl Eyes was a man who discovered that the many books in Gatsby's library were real books with uncut pages; that is, they had intrinsic value, but had never been read, demonstrating Gatsby's personal facade. Nick realizes that the guests only cared about being seen at the latest in-fashion fads, instead of caring for Gatsby himself; he also realizes that Gatsby spent years learning how to live and fit in as a wealthy man, all in pursuit of Daisy. In the end, even Daisy ignores the funeral, instead going away with Tom, and Nick finds his perception of the East Egg tainted by these bad memories.

iluckman | Student

Nick felt as thoguh it were a necessary duty to find someone to attend Gatsby's funeral, and in the end the only people to attend were himself, and Gatsby's father, Henry C. Gatz. This is significant because Gatsby would welcome hundreds of guests to his home, to enjoy themselves, to eat his food, and to swim in his pool, but not one of them showed up. Not even Mr. Klipspringer, a man who lived in Gatsby's home (free of charge), would come to his funeral. This shows the indecency and the coruption of the aristocratic community, and gives one a better appreciation for Nick's ability to maintain his decent and respectful character.

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The Great Gatsby

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