The Great Gatsby Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to The Great Gatsby. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. β€˜You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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 eternal 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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It takes two to make an accident.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Every one 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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisyβ€”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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind…
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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...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
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Do you ever wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Ah," she cried, "you look so cool." Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space. With an effort she glanced down at the table. You always look so cool," she repeated. She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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 ---
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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--tomorrow 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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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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She was feeling the pressure of the world outside and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon?” cried Daisy, β€œand the day after that, and the next thirty years?
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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 matterβ€”to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morningβ€”β€” So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I wish I’d done everything on Earth with you.
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Baz Luhrmann
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She’s got an indiscreet voice,” I remarked. β€œIt’s full of–” I hesitated. β€œHer voice is full of money,” he said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money–that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Thirty--the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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 β€œListen,” 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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The rich get richer and the poor get - children.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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A stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened - then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Human sympathy has its limits.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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All the bright precious things fade so fast, and they don't come back.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight - watching over nothing.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I’m thirty,” I said. β€œI’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was ....
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I love New York on summer afternoons when everyone's away. There's something very sensuous about it - overripe, as if all sorts of funny fruits were going to fall into your hands.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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 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. [- Nick Carroway]
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You don't read Gatsby, I said, to learn whether adultery is good or bad but to learn about how complicated issues such as adultery and fidelity and marriage are. A great novel heightens your senses and sensitivity to the complexities of life and of individuals, and prevents you from the self-righteousness that sees morality in fixed formulas about good and evil.
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Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay," said Gatsby. "You always have a green light that burns at the end of your dock." Daisy put her arm through his abruptly but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that 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 him, 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 things had diminished by one.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For awhile these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It makes me sad because I've never seen such--such beautiful shirts before.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!" He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths - so that he could 'come over' some afternoon to a stranger's garden.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die, but I seemed to bear an enchanted life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They had never been closer in their month of love, nor communicated more profoundly one with another, than when she brushed silent lips against his coat's shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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They were careless people, Tom and Daisyβ€”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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It's a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your 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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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It eluded us then, but that’s no matterβ€”tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morningβ€” So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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In these fast and fickle times, it’s nice to know that there are some things you can always count on: the enduring brilliance of the last page of The Great Gatsby; the near-religious harmonies of the Beach Boys’ β€œCalifornia Girls”; and the lifelong friendship of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
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Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
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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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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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. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"--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. No--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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twentyβˆ’one that everything afterward savors of antiβˆ’climax.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . And then one fine morningβ€” So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Empathy lies at the heart of Gatsby, like so many other great novels--the biggest sin is to be blind to others' problems and pains. Not seeing them means denying their existence.
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Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
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The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to makes such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person I thought it was your secret pride." "I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor." She didn't answer. Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something-an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I heard somewhere a long time ago. 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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I like to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness. At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in othersβ€”poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinnerβ€”young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the treesβ€”he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder. His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete. Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of somethingβ€”an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago. 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.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
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I can't describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her, old sport. I even hoped for a while that she'd throw me over, but she didn't, because she was in love with me too. She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her. . . . Well, there I was, 'way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn't care. What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?" On the last afternoon before he went abroad, he sat with Daisy in his arms for a long, silent time. It was a cold fall day, with fire in the room and her cheeks flushed. Now and then she moved and he changed his arm a little, and once he kissed her dark shining hair. 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. They had never been closer in their month of love, nor communicated more profoundly one with another, than when she brushed silent lips against his coat's shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)