Quotes (19)Add a Quote
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
"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."
“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”
In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.
Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs, and so I drew up the girl beside me, tightening my arms. Her wan, scornful mouth smiled, and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my face.
A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.
Most of the big shore places are closed now, and there are hardly any lights except the shadowy moving glow of a ferry boat across the sound. 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 sailor's eyes. A fresh green breast of the new world. It's vanished trees, the trees that made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams and 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.
Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their retinas are
“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 of 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, 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. Precisely at that point it vanished--and I was looking at an elegant young roughneck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd. Some time before he introduced himself I’d got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care.”
“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” —Nick Carraway
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
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.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
"I hope she'll be a fool - that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool....You see, I think everything's terrible anyhow....And I know. I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything."
"...with every word she was drawing further and further into herself, so he gave that up, and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away, trying to touch what was no longer tangible, struggling unhappily, undespairingly, toward that lost voice across the room."
"I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.
It was seven o’clock when we got into the coupé with him and started for Long Island. Tom talked incessantly, exulting and laughing, but his voice was as remote from Jordan and me as the foreign clamour on the sidewalk or the tumult of the elevated overhead. 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. But there was Jordan beside me, who, unlike Daisy, was too wise ever to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age. As we passed over the dark bridge her wan face fell lazily against my coat’s shoulder and the formidable stroke of thirty died away with the reassuring pressure of her hand.
So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight."
Tom was evidently perturbed at Daisy's running around alone, for on the following Saturday night he came with her to Gatsby's party. Perhaps his presence gave the evening its peculiar quality of oppressiveness--it stands out in my memory from Gatsby's other parties that summer. There were the same people, or at least the same sort of people, the same profusion of champagne, the same many-colored, many-keyed commotion, but I felt an unpleasantness in the air, a pervading harshness that hadn't been there before.