The Great Gatsby Quotes - Page 4 | Just Great DataBase

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It was testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there were whispers about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world.

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I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.

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As for Tom, the fact that he "had some woman in New York" was really less surprising than that he had been depressed by a book. Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.

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all the time something within her was crying for a decision.She wanted her life shaped now, immediately — and the decision must be made by some force — of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality — that was close at hand

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Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.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 a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.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 ——So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

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He snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf, muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse.

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The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alivewith chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.

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I was too absorbed to be responsive

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What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon,' cried Daisy, 'and the day after that, and the next thirty years?''Don't be morbid,' Jordan said. 'Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.''But it's so hot,' insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, 'And everything's so confused. Let's all go to town!

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She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her

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I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all--Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.

14

Well, there I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn't care.

14

They're such beautiful shirts. It makes me sad because I've never seen such - such beautiful shirts before.

14

Breathing dreams like air

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I’ve heard it said that Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.

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I see you're looking at my cuff buttons." I hadn't been looking at them, but I did now.

13

I'm inclined to reserve all judgement, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.

13

There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and he champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his motor-boats slid the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.

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Who is he anyhow, an actor?""No.""A dentist?""...No, he's a gambler." Gatsby hesitated, then added cooly: "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919.""Fixed the World Series?" I repeated.The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as something that merely happened, the end of an inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people--with the singlemindedness of a burglar blowing a safe."How did he happen to do that?" I asked after a minute."He just saw the opportunity.""Why isn't he in jail?""They can't get him, old sport. He's a smart man.

13

The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption - and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-by.

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She wouldn't let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her and squeezed it up in a wet ball, and only let me leave it in the soap dish when she saw that it was coming to pieces like snow.

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but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering.

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I couldn't forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified.

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Her grey, sun-strained eyes stared straight ahead, but she had deliberately shifted our relations, and for a moment I thought I loved her. 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. I'd been writing letters once a week and signing them: "Love, Nick," and all I could think of was how, when that certain girl played tennis, a faint mustache of perspiration appeared on her upper lip. Nevertheless there was a vague understanding that had to be tactfully broken off before I was free.

11

The bottle of whiskey - the second one - was now in constant demand by all present, excepting Catherine, who 'felt just as good on nothing at all.

11

And so we beat on, books against the critics, borne back ceaslessly into rewrites.

11

Daisy began to sing with the music in a husky, rhythmic whisper, bringing out a meaning in each word that it had never had before and would never have again. When the melody rose, her voice broke up sweetly, following it, in a way contralto voices have, and each change tipped out a little of her warm human magic upon the air.

11

Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.

11

I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park through the soft twilight, but each time I tried to go I became entangled in some wild, strident argument which pulled me back, as if with ropes, into my chair. Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets... I saw him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without.

11

I was going up to New York to see my sister and spend the night. He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes and I couldn't keep my eyes off him but every time he looked at me I had to pretend to be looking at the advertisement over his head. When we came into the station he was next to me and his white shirt-front pressed against my arm--and so I told him I'd have to call a policeman, but he knew I lied. I was so excited that when I got into a taxi with him I didn't hardly know I wasn't getting into a subway train.

11

The afternoon had made them tranquil for a while, as if to give them a deep memory for the long parting the next day promised.

11

Open the whisky, Tom,' she ordered, 'and I'll make you a mint julep. Then you won't seem so stupid to yourself... Look at the mint!

10

I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth. 

10

Her grey, sun-strained eyes stared straight ahead, but she had deliberately shifted our relations, and for a moment I thought I loved her. 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.

10

Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendour.

10

Even when the east excited me most, even when I was keenly aware of its superiority to the broad, sprawling, swollen towns beyond the Ohio, with their interminable inquisitions which only spared children and the very old-even then it had always for me a quality of distortion.

10

By God, I may be old-fashioned in my ideas, but women run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish.

10

And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I don’t care what it’s founded on. 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.

9

I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘all right,’ I said, ‘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 this world, a beautiful little fool.

9

The transition from libertine to prig was so complete.

9

He had reached an age where death no longer has the quality of ghastly surprise

9

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 through 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

9

As soon as I arrived I made an attempt to find my host but the two or three people of whom I asked his whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way and denied so vehemently an knowledge of his movements that I slunk off in the direction of the cocktail table--the only place in the garden where a single man could linger without looking purposeless and alone.

9

I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes.

9

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 uncommunicable forever

9

Look here, old sport," he broke out surprisingly. "What's your opinion of me, anyhow?" A little overwhelmed, I began the generalized evasions which that question deserves.

9

Want any of this stuff? Jordan?... Nick?"I didn't answer.Nick?" he asked again.What?"Want any?"No... I just remembered that today's my birthday."I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.

9

These things excite me so,’ she whispered. ‘If you want to kiss me any time during the evening, Nick, just let me know and I'll be glad to arrange it for you. Just mention my name. Or present a green card.

9

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 this world, a beautiful little fool.

9