There was a faint, barely perceptible movement of the water as the fresh flow from one end urged its way toward the drain at the other with little ripples that were hardly the shadows of waves, the laden mattress moved irregularly down the pool. A small gust of wind that scarcely corrugated the surface was enough to disturb its accidental course with its accidental burden. The touch of a cluster of leaves revolved it slowly, tracing, like the leg of compass, a thin red circle in the water.
It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby. Chapter 8, Nick’s description of the scene of the murder, when Gatsby’s body is discovered. The language suggests that for all of his wealth and infamy, he he never quite made the impact that he had wished. He was a little ripple in a large pool called America. In death he was reduced to just a ‘thin red circle in the water.’ Gatsby’s murder and the discovery of the body of Wilson, who killed him, symbolize the death of Gatsby’s dream.