This chapter is not told in liner chronology, at numerous points analepsis is used by the narrator (and therefore, implemented by Fitzgerald) to detail past events that have shaped the narrative into the plot existing in the current chapter. The first usage of analepsis is used to explain Gatsby’s infatuation—or more correctly-obsession with Daisy. Fitzgerald has waited until this penultimate chapter to reveal the reason why Gatsby so fervently desires Daisy, the tension built throughout the novel due to the withholding of this information is a feature typical of the Romantic Thriller genre. The enigma that Gatsby appeared as in earlier chapters no longer exists due to this revelation, Nick and the reader now viewing Gatsby as a pitiful, deluded fool.
Gatsby’s characterisation by Fitzgerald shifts dramatically throughout the novel; the previous chapter, as well as chapter 8 furthering the artificiality of his character. Gatsby is portrayed as ‘unscrupulous’, when learning that other men admired Daisy it ‘increased her value’, simile being used to describe her as ‘gleaming like silver’. This objectification of Daisy into a literal trophy has revealed Gatsby’s insatiable desire for wealth, both Nick and the reader now questioning the authenticity of his love.
The second analeptic interjection in this chapter is used to detail the aftermath of Myrtle’s death: “Now I want to go back a little and tell what happened at the garage after we left”. The recollection of this scene is particularly reminiscent of the conventions of a Hollywood Thriller film, dialogue between Wilson and Michaelis furthering the cinematic feel of the flashback in that the misperception of events is verbally exclaimed to foreshadow the demise of Gatsby “He murdered her”, this allowing the reader to be aware of the impending climax. Because of the analeptic interjections within this chapter, Fitzgerald has made the pacing uneven, our awareness that the plot lies within an underpinning frame narrative that Nick is writing 2 years in the future creates the feeling that Nick is consciously preventing progression in the plot, this obvious stalling furthering the tension in the chapter. The first-person retrospective point of narration from Nick initially felt biased in earlier parts of the novel, yet in this chapter develops into something more omniscient, the numerous flashbacks that Nick was not present at furthers this effect. The disapproval that Nick feels towards other character’s lifestyles is becoming more tangible ‘her artificial world was redolent’, Fitzgerald using Nick’s narrative perspective to impart some form of moral judgement on the cast.
The setting of the chapter is used effectively by Fitzgerald to portray the crumbling relationship between Gatsby and Daisy. The chapter opens in Gatsby’s house, the description of which containing a semantic field of vacancy: ‘dust’ ‘dark’ and ‘musty’. This description signifies the stagnancy of Gatsby’s life without Daisy, it is an empty husk, devoid of purpose. The juxtaposition between this stark residence and the decadent party mansion of chapter 3 is particularly poignant, Fitzgerald using the now vacant house as an allegory for Gatsby’s hollow dreams. The vivid description of Daisy’s house where Gatsby first met her acts to reinforce the ever-increasing gap between Gatsby and Daisy, whose house is described as ‘beautiful’, ‘cool’ and most importantly ‘not musty’. Fitzgerald has used repetition of ‘musty’ along with the adverb ‘not’ to further this gap, Gatsby and Daisy are two very different beings, the façade Gatsby created has been shattered and he is left as something clearly distinguishable as being ‘not’ like Daisy.