The Great Gatsby Key Quotes

  • Created by: lwilson23
  • Created on: 09-02-19 13:30

Chapter 1

- Nick describes himself as being 'inclined to reserve all judgment' - foreshadowing and also possibly an allusion to the fact that Nick is the intradiegetic narrator of the tale. 

- 'an extraordinary gift for hope' - Nick describes Gatsby.

- Tom and Daisy described as 'two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all' - contrast. 

- '"It's up to us, who are the dominant race"' (TOM) - racist comments are a reflection of contemporary US society

- '"that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool"' (DAISY) - Daisy aware of the status of women in the patriarchal society of the time - not as naive as she initially appears. Feminist critic and link to context (AO5).

- '"we heard it from three people, so it must be true"' (DAISY) - another comment on US society, the dangers of rumour and how it can impact someone's life. Close-knit. 

1 of 10

Chapter 2

- 'a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat' - description of the Valley of Ashes - use of alliteration and simile. Connotations with death and misery. 

- '"Everybody...Lucille, that man's way below you!"' (MRS MCKEE) - hyperbole in exclamation shows the superficiality that permeates 1920s US society - statement on class system.

- 'I found myself simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life' - Nick views life in New York with ambivalence

- 'Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand' - Tom's violent streak (subtly alluded to by Fitzgerald earlier by Daisy's 'black and blue' hands) is shown, doesn't like people of a lower class (in this case Myrtle) disagreeing with him. Nick and Mr McKee leave after this occurs - blissful ignorance?

2 of 10

Chapter 3

- 'people were not invited - they went there' - sycophants in 1920s New York society, just showing up at Gatsby's was almost a societal expectation

- price of the dress Gatsby bought for woman in yellow explicitly stated as 'two hundred and sixty-five dollars' - obsession with materialism

- Nick perceives the party at Gatsby's as 'significant, elemental and profound' - ambivalence as he wasn't enjoying himself before he had a few drinks. 

- 'one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it' - Gatsby is comforting. 

- 'I could see nothing sinister about him' - becomes ironic as the reader learns more about Gatsby's illicit side dealings in later chapters.

- 'I wasn't actaully in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity' - Nick describes the nature of his and Jordan Baker's relationship. 

- 'I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known' - a rather egotistical statement from Nick as he comments on his own personality. 

3 of 10

Chapter 4

- 'I wondered if there wasn't something a little sinister about him, after all' - contradicts with what Nick said about Gatsby in the previous chapter - Nick begins to see through his facade.

- '"I didn't want you to think I was just some nobody"' - irony as everyone knows Gatsby. 

- New York described as the 'first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world' - New York seems to be symbolic of The American Dream here. 

- In New York, 'Even Gatsby could happen' - further contributes to the surreal qualities New York seems to possess, makes Gatsby seem almost mythic in nature.

- Wolfsheim described as a 'small, flat-nosed Jew' with an 'expressive nose' - racial stereotyping and he is a crook. Reflective of attitudes towards other races/religions in US society. 

- '"He's the man who fixed the World's Series back in 1919"' (GATSBY) - Meyer Wolfsheim's illicit dealings are revealed - the corruption beneath the glamour - meet in a speakeasy.

- '"there are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired"' (NICK) - statement on the denizens of 1920s society - categorisation

4 of 10

Chapter 5

- 'the day agreed upon was pouring rain' - pathetic fallacy used to put a negative atmosphere on the date where Gatsby and Daisy are to be reunited. 

- 'after half an hour, the sun shone again' - alliteration and pathetic fallacy used to show the drastic change in Daisy and Gatsby's relationship. 

- 'he literally glowed' - metaphorical description of Gatsby after he rekindles his love with Daisy contrasts sharply with his earlier erratic and nervous behaviour in the chapter. 

- 'pure dull gold' - oxymoronic description of gold reinforces the extent of Gastby's opulence. 

- 'his count of enchanted objects had diminished by one' - Daisy described using adjective 'enchanted' - represents just what she means to Gatsby. 

5 of 10

Chapter 6

- 'he was a son of God' - Nick's metaphorical description of Gatsby further contributes to his mythic qualities. 

- Dan Cody discovers that Gatsby is 'quick and extravagently ambitious' - foreshadows his future. 

- Tom creates a 'peculiar quality of oppressiveness' at one of Gatsby's parties, portrays him as an aggressive and unlikeable character. 

- '"can't repeat the past?...why of course you can!"' (GATSBY) - Gatsby deludes himself into thinking he can rekindle his relationship with Daisy and achieve his idea of the American Dream

6 of 10

Chapter 7

- 'the next day was broiling' - pathetic fallacy creating a sense of oppression right at the beginning of the chapter - foreshadows future events. 

- '"why not let her alone, old sport?"' (GATSBY) - dialogue between Gatsby and Tom during argument apartment shows him challenging Tom's authority. Old vs. New money. 

- '"Your wife doesn't love you...she loves me"' (GATSBY) - variation in syntax with short sentence usage increases the dramatic impact of the bombshell which Gatsby drops here. 

- 'the words seemed to bite physically into Gatsby' - personfication to show Gatsby's anger, a moment of anagnorisis for him as he realises the true nature of Daisy's affections. 

- 'only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away' - alliteration coupled with personification - the death of The American Dream? 

- 'we drove on towards death through the cooling twilight' - use of metaphor, pathetic fallacy, creates sombre tone and foreshadows the death of Myrtle. 

- Wilson described as 'his wife's man and not his own' - Myrtle defies stereotypes of women.  

7 of 10

Chapter 7 Continued

- 'the tears were overflowing down his face' - description of Tom after finding Myrtle is dead contrasts with his 'tough guy' archetypal persona - uncontrollable outburst of emotion shown by verb 'overflowing'. 

- at the end of the chapter, when Gatsby is hanging out around Daisy's house, Nick states that he leaves him 'watching over nothing' - which is symbolic of the divide in his and Daisy's relationship created by the commotion in the apartment. 

8 of 10

Chapter 8

- Nick finds himself awakening to a 'grotesque reality' - intradiegetic narration speaks for reader. 

- 'promising a cool, lovely day' - use of pathetic fallacy which will become ironic when Gatsby dies. 

- 'dawn wasn't far off' - 'dawn' symbolic of a new beginning. 

- '"you may fool me, but you can't fool God!"'/'"God sees everything"' (WILSON) - interesting dialogue from his character which is left deliberately ambiguous - second statement is said as he points to the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg - comparison to God or the ever-watching eyes of society? A symbol nonetheless. 

- 'a new world - material without being real' - Gatsby has another moment of anagnorisis just before his death - an allegory for one of the novel's key themes of conspicuous consumption. Depressing in tone

- 'the holocaust was complete' - noun 'holocaust' important - shows severity of loss to Nick. 

9 of 10

Chapter 9

- ' I found myself on Gatsby's side, and alone' - contrasts with Gatsby's popularity in life. 

- 'no one arrived' (to Gatsby's funeral) - sycophantic US society exposed. 

- Henry Gatz (Gatsby's father) looks around at Gatsby's mansion with an 'awed pride' - admiration for what his son has built from nothing - in a physical sense he has achieved The American Dream, but the question perisists whether he ever was truly happy. 

- 'but it wasn't any use. Nobody came.' - variety in syntax - no one wants to be at Gatsby's funeral - generates sympathy for his character. 

- 'Gatsby believed in the green light' - 'green light' potentially symbolic of so many different things so can be linked into different answers. It representing The American Dream/Daisy are a few examples.

- 'we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past' - first person plural inclusive pronoun 'we' creates the impression that Fitzgerald is providing some form of social commentary here through metaphor usage - the past is inescapable. 

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all The Great Gatsby resources »