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The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” 
  • “I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.”
  • “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
  • “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
  • “It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.”
    “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.”
  • “You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.” 
  • “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” 
  • “I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
  • “Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.” 
  • “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”
  • 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.”
  • “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
  • “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.”
  • “If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him”
  • “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.” 
  • “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.”
  • “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 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.”
  • “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
  • “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.”
  • “They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
  • “All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.” 
  • “He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.”