Who Attended Gatsby’s Funeral? Understanding the Significance

Who Attended Gatsby

Gatsby’s extravagant parties were the talk of West Egg and perhaps even all of New York. It seemed like everyone knew about Gatsby and his lavish events. But when tragedy struck and Gatsby was killed by George Wilson, the question arose: who attended his funeral? F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel sheds light on Gatsby’s demise and, more importantly, offers insights into the values and views prevalent in society during that era.

The Significance of Gatsby’s Funeral Attendance

Sadly, only a handful of people showed up to pay their respects at Gatsby’s funeral. Among the attendees were Nick, Owl Eyes, the West Egg postman, a few servants, and Gatsby’s father, Henry Gatz.

Nick considered Gatsby a remarkable man and believed he deserved a grand mourning from many people. After all, Gatsby’s parties were always filled with guests. However, Fitzgerald seems to convey that the wealthy have a duty to behave decently, one they failed to uphold.

Why Nick Took Charge of Gatsby’s Funeral

After Gatsby’s death, the news attracted a swarm of reporters from newspapers and gossip magazines. Realizing that no one else would arrange the funeral, Nick took it upon himself. He tried to convince others to attend, but his efforts bore little fruit.

When Nick informed Tom about Gatsby’s demise, he refused to shake Tom’s hand, especially after Tom revealed that he had told George that Gatsby was responsible for Myrtle’s death. Nick had expected at least Daisy to send flowers, but to his disappointment, Tom and Daisy left town without a trace.

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After futile attempts to rally past party guests, Meyer Wolfsheim, and other friends of Gatsby, Nick gave up. He dismissed the reporters and mourned the late Great Gatsby alongside Gatsby’s father, Henry Gatz.

The Absentees at Gatsby’s Funeral

While it is easier to answer who attended Gatsby’s funeral, the list of people who didn’t is far longer.

The People Who Showed Up to Gatsby

Tom and Daisy, Meyer Wolfsheim, Jordan Baker, Klipspringer, and any of the businessmen who had dealings with Gatsby—all of them were conspicuous by their absence. Despite the countless attendees at Gatsby’s extravagant parties, hardly anyone showed up to bid him farewell.

In the final chapter, Chapter IX, we learn about Gatsby’s father, his impoverished background, and how Gatsby aspired to become a wealthy man. Gatsby’s father, Henry Gatz, even shares with Nick a book owned by Gatsby in his youth, filled with notes about self-improvement and dreams.

While Gatsby managed to realize many of his dreams, his relationships with others were evidently shallow, as very few were willing to attend his funeral.

Why Meyer Wolfsheim and Daisy Skipped Gatsby’s Funeral

Meyer Wolfsheim, who spent considerable time with Gatsby and seemingly shared a close bond, failed to send even a card or flowers, let alone attend the funeral. He justified his absence by claiming he was “too old to get mixed up in all that.” Essentially, he feared that attending the funeral would expose his illicit business practices to investigators looking into Gatsby’s death.

As for Daisy, who claimed to love and respect Gatsby, she didn’t even bother sending a single flower. Initially, Nick believed she was unaware of Gatsby’s death. However, he later realized that both Tom and Daisy were self-absorbed individuals with little concern for anyone but themselves.

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Jay Gatsby had transformed himself to win Daisy’s love and live the American Dream together. Sadly, Daisy’s selfishness or fear prevented her from attending the funeral of the man she professed to love. Some speculate that Daisy was afraid of Tom, while others believe Tom kept the news of Gatsby’s death from her. Nevertheless, the book implies that both Tom and Daisy wanted nothing to do with what they considered a messy affair.

Klipspringer’s Absence

Klipspringer practically lived at Gatsby’s mansion, enjoying Gatsby’s wealth, parties, and the American Dream. Though he may have held some respect for Gatsby, he disappeared from the house as soon as he learned of Gatsby’s death. The book doesn’t reveal why Klipspringer chose not to attend the funeral, but his absence infuriated Nick.

When Nick called to invite him, Klipspringer only expressed regret for leaving his tennis shoes behind and asked Nick to send them to his house. Nick angrily hung up on him.

In Conclusion

Gatsby

The number of attendees at Gatsby’s funeral paled in comparison to the crowds at his parties. Nevertheless, Nick held some respect for those who did show up. His judgments on the characters in The Great Gatsby stem from his Midwestern values, with Gatsby being the exception to his harsh assessments.

F. Scott Fitzgerald didn’t hold the rich, whether newly wealthy or old-money, in high regard. Hence, it’s no surprise that the book concludes on a sour note, revealing that the wealthy may have vast fortunes but lack true class.

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