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The Great Gatsby Quotes from the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Till she cry, 'Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!'
- Thomas Parke D'Invilliers
The Great Gatsby

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
'Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.'
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, opening words set tone for a story about class and society. Right away we know the that narrator Nick Carraway is privileged and is very conscious of it.

The intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick Carroway.

Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick.

A sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick states what his father believed.

When I came back from the East last autumn 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. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction - Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick

Gatsby turned out all right at 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.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick on Gatsby.

The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that we're descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather's brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick is from a prominent, well off family, but he has not lived the luxurious life that Daisy and Tom have. Instead Nick's family achieved the American Dream through hard work.

Instead of being the warm center of the world, the Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe - so I decided to go East and learn the bond business.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, after returning from WWI a restless Nick feels the world has changed and decides to head East.

If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick on Jay Gatsby.

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow fast in movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with summer.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick

Now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the 'well-founded man.' This isn't just an epigram - life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1.

I lived at West Egg, the – well, the least fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard … My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor's lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires - all for eighty dollars a month.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick may live in a small house, but he gets to live beside millionaires.

Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed, and I'd known Tom in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in Chicago.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, East Egg has mostly people who come from old money, or were born into their riches. Unlike the West Egg inhabitants who are mostly members of the nouveau riche, people who worked their way into their riches.

Why they came East I don't know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. This was a permanent move, said Daisy over the telephone, but I didn't believe it - I had no sight into Daisy's heart, but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick on the Buchanans.

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.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick describes Tom Buchanan.

His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he liked - and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick on Tom Buchanan, who represents arrogance, superiority and selfishness in the novel.

The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, description of Daisy and Jordan, containing many similes that refer to movement. The two figures are so lightweight that they appear to be floating, the imagery reinforces the idea that the characters live restless, dissatisfied and aimless lives.

At any rate, Miss Baker's lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly, and then quickly tipped her head back again - the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright. Again a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a tribute from me.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Nick acknowledges Jordan's egotism and concent with an astonished tribute.

I looked back at my cousin, who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered 'Listen,' a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1, Daisy's voice has a poetry and energy to it. The suggestion is that she uses that voice to allure and coerce, drawing the listener to her physically and emotionally.

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The Great Gatsby - a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. Narrated by Nick Carraway, the novel follows Nick and Jay Gatsby's strange friendship and Gatsby's pursuit of a married woman named Daisy Buchanan, ultimately leading to his exposure as a bootlegger and his death.The author was born September 24, 1896, Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. He died December 21, 1940, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States.

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