Nick Carraway, the narrator of "The Great Gatsby," takes it upon himself to organize Gatsby's funeral because he believes it is his duty as Gatsby's only friend to see to his proper burial. In Chapter 9, Nick describes how he tries to contact Gatsby's friends and acquaintances to attend the funeral, but they all decline. "I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him, called her instinctively and without hesitation," Nick explains. "But she and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, and taken baggage with them."
Despite the absence of Gatsby's former associates, a small group of people do attend his funeral. So who was at Gatsby's funeral? This includes Nick, Gatsby's father, Henry Gatz, and a few of Gatsby's former servants. The significance of this small turnout is that it underscores the theme of the novel: the emptiness and moral decay of the wealthy elite. Gatsby's funeral represents the final indignity that the rich heap upon the poor and disadvantaged. The wealthy, who once flocked to Gatsby's parties, now refuse even to attend his funeral. They are too self-absorbed, too consumed with their own concerns, to show a modicum of decency or respect for the dead.
In the end, it is Nick who is left to mourn Gatsby alone, and who recognizes the true worth of his friend's character. As he reflects on Gatsby's life and death, Nick comes to understand the profound loneliness that lay at the heart of his friend's existence. "I see now that this has been a story of the West," Nick concludes, "after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life."
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