English Great Gatsby Quotes

Nick Carraway’s father “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had”
Nick Carraway “I’m inclined to reserve all judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores”
Nick Carraway “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope”
Nick Carraway “A sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth”
Nick Carraway “I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “Who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “It was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “Gatsby turned out all right in the 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”
Nick Carraway “I lived at West Egg, the, well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them”
Nick Carraway, Daisy and Tom Buchanan “Why they came East I don’t know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever played polo and were rich together. This was a permanent move… but I didn’t believe it”
description of Tom Buchanan “Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and have him the appearance of always leaning aggresively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body – he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing, and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body capable of enormous leverage – a cruel body.”
Daisy “Gatsby? What Gatsby?”
Jordan Baker “Tom’s got some woman in New York… She might have the decency not to telephone him at dinner time. Don’t you think?”
Daisy “And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool”
Daisy “Sophisticated, God, I’m sophisticated!”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “Fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor’s mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars.”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was fro him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward, and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock”
Nick Carraway, 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 men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air”
Nick Carraway, Dr. T. J. Eckleberg “Their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose”
Nick Carraway, Myrtle Wilson “With the influence of the dress her personality had also undergone a change. The intense vitality that had been so remarkable in the garage was converted into impressive hauteur. Her laughter, her gestures, he assertions became more violently affection moment by moment”
Myrtle Wilson “I just slip it on sometimes when I don’t care what I look like”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby’s parties “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited – they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island, and somehow they ended up at Gatsby’s door… and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with an amusement park”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “He smiled understandingly – much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced – or seemed to face – the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood…”
Nick Carraway, Jordan Baker “The bored haughty face that she turned to the world concealed something… Jordan Baker instinctively avoided clever, shrewd men, and now I saw that this was because… She was incurably dishonest.”
Nick Carraway “Dishonestly in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply – I was casually sorry, and then I forgot.”
Nick Carraway “But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires, and I knew that first I had to get myself definitely out of that tangle back home…”
Nick Carraway “I am one of those few honest people that I have ever known”
Nick Carraway, Wolfsheim “A small, flat-noes Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered tiny eyes in the half-darkness”
Jordan Baker, Daisy and Tom Buchanan “In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before… the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars”
Jordan Baker “It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold you tongue, and moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care”
Nick Carraway, Daisy and Gatsby “They were sitting at either end of the couch, looking at each other as if some question had been asked, or was in the air… her face was smeared with tears, but… he literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation of a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actualy and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns, and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high… ‘I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “The colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “As I went over to say good-by I saw that the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby’s face, as though a faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not though her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
Nick Carraway, Daisy “That voice was a deathless song”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “And when the Tuolomee left for the West Indies and the Barbary Coast Gatsby left too.”
Nick Carraway, Daisy, Gatsby’s party “Bu the rest offended her – and inarguably, because it wasn’t a gesture but an emotion. She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented “place” that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village – appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand”
Nick Carraway “For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man’s, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound, and what I had almost remembered was incommunicable forever.”
Gatsby to Tom Buchanan “I’m right across from you”
Daisy to Gatsby “You always look so cool”
Nick Carraway, Tom Buchanan “There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind, and as we drove away Tom was feeling the hot whips of panic. His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago, secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control. Instinct made him step on the accelerator with the double purpose of overtaking Daisy and leaving Wilson behind, and we sped along toward Astoria as fifty miles an hour, until, among the spidery girders of the elevated, we came in sight of the easy-going blue coupĂ©”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “I wanted to get up and slap him on the back. I had one of those renewals of complete faith in him that I’d experienced before”
Tom Buchanan, Gatsby “Self-control! I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out… Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white”
Nick Carraway “Human sympathy has its limits, and we were content to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind. Thirty- the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair”
Nick Carraway, thoughts of Michaelis, Mr. Wilson “He was his wife’s man and not his own”
Death of Myrtle Wilson “They saw that her left breast was swinging loose like a flap, and there was no need to listen for the heart beneath. The mouth was wide open and ripped at the corners, as though she had choked a little in giving up the tremendous vitality she had stored so long”
Nick Carraway, Daisy and Tom “Were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table, with a plate of cold fried chicken between them, and two bottles of ale. He was talking intently across the table at her, and in his earnestness his hand had fallen upon and covered her own. Once in a while she looked up at him and nodded in agreement. They weren’t happy, and neither of them had touched the chicken or the ale – and yet they weren’t unhappy either. There was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy about the picture, and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together”
About Gatsby to Daisy “He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her under false pretenses. I don’t mean that he had traded on his phantom millions, but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself – that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities – he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world”
About Gatsby to Daisy “He had committed himself to the following of a grail”
Nick Carraway, Tom and Daisy “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made”
Nick Carraway “And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come along way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that could hardly fail to grasp it. he did not know that it was already behind him, and somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night”
Nick Carraway, Gatsby “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning -“
Last lines of the novel “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”

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