Who Attended Gatsby’s Funeral? How And Why Is This Significant?

Updated 28 August, 2023
In "The Great Gatsby," Gatsby's funeral is attended by Nick Carraway, Gatsby's father Henry C. Gatz, Owl Eyes, and a few servants. The absence of most of Gatsby's acquaintances highlights their superficiality and lack of genuine connection with him.
Detailed answer:

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," Gatsby's funeral is a poignant event that sheds light on the nature of his relationships and the emptiness of his lavish lifestyle. The attendees at Gatsby's funeral include Nick Carraway, who becomes the sole witness to Gatsby's tragic end; Gatsby's father, Henry C. Gatz, who arrives from Minnesota to attend the funeral; Owl Eyes, the bespectacled man who had attended Gatsby's parties and later visits the library; and a few of Gatsby's servants.

The significance of the attendees lies in the absence of those who frequented Gatsby's extravagant parties. Gatsby's former associates and partygoers, who reveled in his opulent gatherings, are conspicuously absent from the funeral. This absence highlights the shallowness of their relationships with Gatsby, who was merely a means of entertainment for them. His death exposes the superficiality of the connections he had forged during his pursuit of the American Dream.

Nick's presence at the funeral is particularly meaningful. As the narrator and one of Gatsby's few true friends, Nick symbolizes the deeper connection that Gatsby lacked with most others. Nick's involvement in arranging the funeral and his attendance underscore the genuine bond he had formed with Gatsby and the personal impact of Gatsby's tragic downfall on him.

Furthermore, Gatsby's father's attendance represents the familial love that persisted beyond Gatsby's pursuit of wealth and status. Henry C. Gatz's pride in his son's achievements, albeit misguided, showcases a familial connection that contrasts with the superficial associations of Gatsby's acquaintances.

In essence, the attendees at Gatsby's funeral serve as a reflection of the true and lasting relationships in his life, emphasizing the emptiness of the extravagant parties and the ephemeral nature of the connections formed within them. Gatsby's death unveils the hollowness of the American Dream and the pursuit of wealth and status at the expense of genuine human connections, thus adding a layer of social commentary to the novel's exploration of the Jazz Age.

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