Who Killed Gatsby in the Book

Title: Who Killed Gatsby? Unveiling the Culprit in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Classic Novel


F. Scott Fitzgerald’s timeless masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby,” has captivated readers for decades with its mesmerizing portrayal of the Jazz Age, love, and the pursuit of the American Dream. Among the many mysteries and tragic events that unfold within its pages, one question continues to resonate in readers’ minds: Who killed Gatsby? In this article, we will delve into the key characters and events in the book, examining the possible culprits behind the demise of the enigmatic Jay Gatsby.

Understanding the Characters:

1. Jay Gatsby:
Gatsby, the novel’s central character, is a mysterious millionaire known for his extravagant parties and his undying love for Daisy Buchanan. Despite his wealth and success, Gatsby remains an enigma, concealing his true identity and past from those around him.

2. Tom Buchanan:
Daisy’s husband, Tom, represents the old money aristocracy, living a life of privilege and entitlement. He is known for his controlling nature, arrogance, and infidelity. Tom harbors a deep-seated resentment towards Gatsby for his pursuit of Daisy, which could potentially make him a suspect.

3. Daisy Buchanan:
Daisy, Gatsby’s love interest, is a complex character torn between societal expectations and her true desires. She is portrayed as a passive character, often influenced by those around her. Daisy’s actions play a pivotal role in the unfolding events, leaving readers wondering about her involvement in Gatsby’s tragedy.

4. George Wilson:
George Wilson, the husband of Tom’s mistress, Myrtle, is a working-class man struggling to make ends meet. He is introduced as a humble and desperate character, unaware of the web of deceit surrounding him. As the story progresses, George becomes consumed by grief and vengeance, making him a potential suspect.

Possible Culprits:

1. Tom Buchanan:
Tom’s deep-seated resentment towards Gatsby and his obsession with maintaining his social status provide a compelling motive for his involvement in Gatsby’s murder. Furthermore, his confrontations with Gatsby throughout the novel suggest a potential for violence.

2. George Wilson:
Driven to madness by his wife’s affair and subsequent death, George becomes a plausible suspect. His desperation, combined with the discovery of Gatsby’s car at his garage, leads him to believe that Gatsby was responsible for Myrtle’s death. Seeking justice, George may have sought retribution against Gatsby.

3. The Reckless Society:
Fitzgerald uses the characters in the novel to critique the superficiality and recklessness of the 1920s society. The collective actions and indifference of the high society, represented by characters such as Daisy and her friends, contribute to Gatsby’s downfall. The society’s lack of accountability and moral compass make them indirectly responsible for Gatsby’s demise.


1. Why wasn’t Gatsby’s killer explicitly revealed in the book?
Fitzgerald intentionally leaves Gatsby’s killer ambiguous, emphasizing the symbolic nature of his death. By not explicitly pointing out the murderer, Fitzgerald invites readers to reflect on the larger themes of the novel, such as the corrupting influence of wealth and the elusive nature of the American Dream.

2. Could Gatsby’s death be considered a suicide?
While Gatsby’s death is often seen as a result of his involvement in the murky world of organized crime, suicide is a valid interpretation. Gatsby’s relentless pursuit of Daisy and his inability to let go of the past could have driven him to take his own life, making it a plausible explanation.


“The Great Gatsby” is a literary masterpiece that continues to captivate readers with its vivid portrayal of a bygone era. Although the identity of Gatsby’s killer remains a subject of debate, the novel offers various clues and motivations that point towards characters such as Tom Buchanan and George Wilson. Ultimately, Fitzgerald’s deliberate ambiguity leaves room for interpretation, urging readers to reflect on the consequences of the characters’ actions and the corruptive nature of the American Dream.

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