“Go on!” He started. “Why, my God! they used to go there by the hundreds.” He took off his glasses and wiped them again, outside and in.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter IX) on Rap Genius

Meaning

Alone in a Sea of Thousands… Une Histoire de la Nouveau Riche
When Gatsby was alive, people flocked to his house like moths to light. His parties were the talk of the town, and no one wasn’t invited.

Yet, through all of these exciting evenings, no one truly knew or cared about Gatsby the person, only Gatsby the patron or Gatsby the host. So long as Gatsby funded the extravagant parties, people would come. Essentially, the man was using his wealth to buy superficial friendships by the hundred.

But in death, Gatsby’s hold on the public crumbles–with the party over, there is no reason to go to Gatsby’s house. Since Gatsby was still more of an anonymous money sack than a person, no one felt the need to pay their respects. Such is the difference between old money and the nouveau riche. An person from East Egg would not have to prove their wealth to anyone because their last name tells all. Therefore, they do not throw these extravagant parties. Their name will live on in all of its grandeur for eternity, a “deathless song”. But for those of the new upper class, name recognition is not inherent, but something that must be accomplished. As much as Gatsby tried to spread his name, he still could not have it ingrained in the public mindset. Therefore, when he died, it was not as though a person died, but rather as though a long party had come to a close, and no one wanted to clean up or see the aftermath.

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