Who is responsible for Gatsby’s death

Subject: Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 842
Topics: American Culture, Book, The Great Gatsby


In the renowned narrative Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is murdered by George Wilson. However, despite Mr. Wilson pulling the trigger that led to Gatsby’s demise, no one should place all of the blame on him only. Gatsby’s death can be attributed to a chain of several events. His murder can also be traced back to Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Myrtle Wilson, and even Gatsby (Sengar, 2022). The critical incidences that led to Gatsby’s demise were Tom’s and Myrtle’s affair, Gatsby’s affair and obsession with Daisy, Myrtle’s murder, and Mr. Wilson’s eventual shooting of Gatsby (Hou, 2022). These incidences all have different causes and effects.

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Myrtle Wilson

The initial event that contributes to Gatsby’s death is Myrtle’s death. While this death was very odd since she ran into the streets thinking it was Tom who was driving the car. She was not aware of who was driving the car and hoped he would stop by to visit her (Hou, 2022). Myrtle is somewhat responsible for Gatsby’s death, but she is only trying to get Tom’s attention. Therefore, Myrtle cannot be blamed for Gatsby’s Murder; it was just an accident.

Tom Buchanan

In this story, one may argue that Tom is the most responsible for Gatsby’s demise. Even though he was not responsible for pulling the trigger, his deeds resulted in Gatsby’s murder. Tom accuses Gatsby of Myrtle’s death to her Husband instead of Daisy (Persson, 2019). It must be emphasized that Tom was well aware when blaming Gatsby that Mr. Wilson would seek him out and he would kill him, and yet he proceeds with his deception. This aspect makes him directly and morally accountable for Gatsby’s death (Hou, 2022). Despite Tom’s lie, it is evident that the individual responsible for Myrtle’s death is Daisy Buchanan.

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Daisy Buchanan

Daisy is another individual that is responsible for Gatsby’s murder since she was the one who hit Myrtle Wilson. After her encounter with both Tom and Gatsby, she decided to drive without paying any attention. Daisy hits Myrtle with the car, but instead of stopping, She opts o continue driving (Persson, 2019). After the accident, Daisy should have owned up to her mistakes, but she decided to let Gatsby take responsibility for her carelessness.

Jay Gatsby

Based on the narrative, one can also argue that Gatsby was responsible for his death. After Myrtle’s death, he had the opportunity to prevent Mr. Wilson from killing him had it not been for his obsession with Daisy. Although Daisy’s marriage was not the happiest, Gatsby should not have encouraged his relationship with her. He had an unrealistic notion that he could somehow win her love back after all those years apart (Sengar, 2022). Even after being left heartbroken, Gatsby remains devoted to Daisy, and he takes responsibility for Myrtle’s death. He probably did not expect to be murdered, but he should have assumed he would receive some punishment for her demise.

George Wilson

After the murder of his wife, Mr. Wilson is devasted, and he tries to find out who murdered his wife. When he is lied to by Tom that Gatsby was driving the car and killed his wife, he concludes that he killed his wife. With vengeful intent, Mr. Wilson seeks out Gatsby at his house and shoots him (Sengar, 2022). Although George Wilson played a clear role in Gatsby’s demise, he was misguided by both Tom and Daisy. The Buchanan, through moral irresponsibility, led him to Kill Gatsby. He does not deserve the entire blame since he is in an unhappy state. An unethical individual misled him.

Nick Carraway

Despite not being directly involved with Gatsby’s death, Nick also supports Daisy’s deception. He believes that she has limited options and opts not to hold her accountable for her actions. Nick even believes that Daisy does have free will. He accepts Buchanan’s dishonesty, although he has admitted that Tom is an unethical individual. Nick was aware that Tom had misled Wilson and sent him to Kill Gatsby (Persson, 2019). Nick’s tolerance for dishonesty led his tolerance to reach an apex when he covered and hid the truth about Myrtle’s death (Hou, 2022). He lets Gatsby take responsibility for the accident, and after Gatsby is shot, he abandons his corpse in the pool. After Gatsby’s death, he hides Daisy’s secret; however, he displays his discontent towards Tom. If Nick had informed anyone about the accident, Mr. Wilson would not have shot Gatsby. His wrong decision does not indicate that he had a wide tolerance for not preventing death but also causing it.

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One can argue that several characters share the blame for Gatsby’s demise. Tom played a part by lying to Mr. Wilson about his wife’s death. Daisy allows Gatsby to take responsibility for her mistake.   Gatsby was also to blame for his death because he allowed Daisy and her husband to accuse him of Myrtle’s murder. Nick did not inform anyone about Myrtle’s accident and opted to look the other way. Finally, while Mr. Wilson was the one who shot Gatsby, his actions were guided by the deception of others.

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  1. Hou, S. (2022, April). Existential Interpretation of The Great Gatsby. In 2022 International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities and Arts (SSHA 2022) (pp. 172-175). Atlantis Press.
  2. Persson, H. (2019). A Study of Daisy Buchanan’s influence on Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
  3. Sengar, T. (2022). The American Dream in the Selected Works of Classic American Literature (The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman): An Analysis.
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