9 Classic Quotes From F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby'

First edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' at London International Antiquarian Book Fair
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F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel "The Great Gatsby" deals with the failure of the great American dream. This book follows Jay Gatsby as he struggles to become wealthy with the hope of winning back Daisy, the woman he loves. Gatsby does get Daisy, but only for a short while, and only until she realizes how he made his money. This is the story of a man's vain attempt to fulfill an unrealistic dream. The following quotes capture the hopes and disappointments of the characters in "The Great Gatsby." All of us struggle to fulfill our dreams. And these 9 quotes will remind you why Fitzgerald's writing holds true today.

  • A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: 'There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.'
  • After Gatsby’s death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eye’s power of correction.
  • Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock... 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.
  • 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.
  • So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.
  • So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
  • [There was] 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... So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.
  • This is a valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat…
  • Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone... just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.