The Great Gatsby– Quotes

“Gatsby turned out all right at end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.” Speaker: Nick Audience: narratingMeaning: Foreshadowing Gatsby’s good life.
” Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game.” Speaker: Nick Audience: narratingMeaning: Tom reached pinnacle of his football career at age 21.
“All right…I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in the world, a beautiful little fool.” Speaker: DaisyAudience: Nick and NurseMeaning: Girls should be pretty and stupid.
“This is a valley of ashes – A fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of mean who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.” Speaker: NickAudience: NarratingMeaning: Description where Myrtle lives.
“He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive.” Speaker: TomAudience: NickMeaning: Wilson doesn’t know why his wife really goes to New York.
“I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.” Speaker: Owl Eyes (Drunk)Audience: Jordan and NickMeaning: One party to another always drunk.
“Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” Speaker: NickAudience: Narrating Meaning: Everybody lies but not him.
“Take ’em down-stairs and give ’em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine.” Speaker: DaisyAudience: JordanMeaning: On wedding day received letter from Gatsby.
“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay…. You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” Speaker: GatsbyAudience: DaisyMeaning: Daisy comes over, unusual occurrence.
“There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not through her own fault but because of colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion.” Speaker: NickAudience: Narration Meaning: Gatsby built Daisy up greater than she ever could be.
“The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg., Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God-a phrase which, if i means anything, means just that-and he must be about His Fathers business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to his conception he was faithful to the end.” Speaker: NickAudience: NarrationMeaning: Gatsby is a made up identity.
“He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken.” Speaker: NickAudience: NarrationMeaning: Gatsby wants a do over with Daisy.
“She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded. His mouth opened a little, and he looked at Gatsby, and then back at Daisy as if he had just recognized her as some one he knew a long time ago.” Speaker: NickAudience: Narration Meaning: Daisy reveals her feelings for Gatsby.
“Her voice is full of money.” Speaker: Gatsby Audience: NickMeaning: She sounds rich.
“I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out.” Speaker: Tom Audience: GatsbyMeaning: Tom knows whats Gatsby is up to.
“They are a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. ” You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together. ” I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from the beginning to end. First he nodded politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we’d been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time.” Speaker: Nick Audience: GatsbyMeaning: Doesn’t blame Gatsby for anything.
“God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!” Speaker: WilsonAudience: Myrtle Meaning: God was watching Myrtle all along.
“He had reached an age where death no longer has the quality of ghastly surprise, and when he looked around him now for the first time and saw the height and splendor of the hall… his grief began to be mixed with an awed pride.” Speaker: NickAudience: NarrationMeaning: Describing Gatsby’s father.
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” Speaker: NickAudience: Narration Meaning: describing the kind of people Tom and Daisy are after they fled.

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