Nick begins to feel "shame" for Gatsby, who was so generous to so many people but ultimately had only one friend — Nick. They immediately busy themselves with spreading grotesquely exaggerated stories about his murder, his life, and his relationships.
The novel documents a time when the tide had shifted the other way, as Westerners sought to join those making money in financial industries like "bonds" in the East.
I got him to join up in the American Legion and he used to stand high there. Gatz, a solemn old man left helpless and distraught by the death of his son.
When he phones Daisy to tell her of Gatsby's death, he learns she and Tom have left on a trip, leaving no itinerary.
From Gatsby's father, Nick learns how Gatsby wanted always to improve himself as a child — how he wanted to rise above the life of the poor, uneducated family into which he was born. Copy to Clipboard. Nick remembers life in the Midwest, full of snow, trains, and Christmas wreaths, and thinks that the East seems grotesque and distorted by comparison.
Pulling out a copy of Hopalong Cassidy, once owned by the young Jimmy Gatz, Gatsby's father points out his young son's drive toward self-improvement by calling Nick's attention to the daily schedule penciled in the back.
In the end, Nick realizes that Tom and Daisy were "careless people," people who made messes and then left others to clean them up.