I didn’t want to hear it and I avoided him when I got off the train.
After Gatsby’s death, the competitive social dynamics of East Egg and West Egg have become abundantly clear to Nick. He sees how Daisy and Tom have a significant role in Gatsby’s death but are still “winners” in sense. Tom and Daisy will return to their affluent lifestyles, while Gatsby remains collateral damage to their continued success. This scenario is analogous to a zero sum game. Nick, as a passive, static narrator in the book, observes the behavior he sees around him and is truly disgusted. He doesn’t want to “hear” what Tom has to say because ultimately there isn’t a sensible excuse for Gatsby’s death. Gatsby’s death is a part of a cycle where the upper class always prevails above the perceived lower class.
Fitzgerald also demonstrates here that Nick himself realizes he doesn’t fit in or even remotely belong in this type of environment, and much like Gatsby, is an outsider. Nick seeks to avoid interaction with people like Tom because he feels like his morals and beliefs are distinctly different from the social climbing mentality he sees in East Egg and West Egg. As mentioned at the introduction of the novel, Nick’s experience as Gatsby’s friend served as an epiphany and a quest for “moral attention”. Nick is looking to return to a lifestyle that seems more simplistic and wholesome.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Great Gatsby (Chapter IX)” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and leave a comment on the lyrics box