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Gatsby Quotes

The Great Gatsby Quotes
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"I wouldn't ask too much of her," I ventured. "You can't repeat the past,"
"Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can."
His hope, his belief in all things being possible, has given Gatsby the confidence to become a rich man, to believe that he can successfully woo Daisy. However, the admirable qualities of belief in himself and faith in the world transforms into a serious weakness when he starts to believe in things that are not possible. In response to Nick Gatsby say's "can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!" This truly highlights his inability to accept the truth, being that Daisy has moved on and is married with a child. It is not only foolish, it is delusional to think that you can turn back time.
""You're worth the whole damn bunch put together."
-Nick, who is "inclined to reserve all judgments," finally makes a strong judgment here, calling Daisy, Tom, Jordan, and all the upper class morally rotten. He knows and feels that Gatsby is worth more than them all and tells him so. Probably no one has ever complimented Gatsby in this way before, even if he secretly agrees with Nick, which is why Gatsby breaks out into a radiant smile.
"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."
-Gatsby has built up such an image of Daisy in his mind that she cannot live up to. She has been the one thing he has been going after, and in his mind he has built her up, and this dream up to such high expectations, that she cannot live up to this illusion he has of her. The word 'colossal' underscores just how ridiculously perfect he has made Daisy in his mind. There was never a chance that she could meet his ludicrously high expectations. It shows how romantic but also how naïve Gatsby truly is.
"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money."
This is a damning criticism from Nick. He clearly believes that the pair of them are terrible people who don't care about consequences. He acknowledges that for the Buchanan's, money will always keep them safe and protected.
"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."
The "dream" is Daisy and the world she represents. Gatsby was so close to attaining them after so much hardship that a little strip of water seemed like nothing. But he might as well have been on the other side of the world for all he achieved. His attempts at winning back Daisy were fruitless; he would never be her social equal and she would never be able to stay with him and keep the lifestyle to which she'd grown accustomed. Nick feels pity for Gatsby here, as does the reader, as he clearly cannot see that his life's goal - to win Daisy - is unachievable and has been that way since day one.
"Paid a high price for living too long with a single dream."
Nick is putting himself in Gatsby's shoes, trying to imagine what it's like to have lost your entire dream, to have reality revealed. Daisy is gone, and if Gatsby has finally realized this, Nick imagines what it's like to have everything you worked for redefined. Gatsby worked his whole life long to achieve his "American Dream", which Daisy was a major part of, and now that she has made her choice of Tom over Gatsby.
"Watching over nothing,"
- Gatsby is still watching shows he is the eternal optimist. He has hope even when all hope is gone. The 'nothing' that he is watching over can also be interpreted in multiple ways. It may be that it is the 'American Dream' that he longed so much to fulfill, yet never truly materialized for him, it may also be his relationship with Daisy, which, while alive in his heart is dead in reality, it could be that Gatsby has lost many of the things he cared for and people he cared about and so there is nothing left for him.
"Oh, you want too much!" She cried to Gatsby. "I love you now - isn't that enough? I cant help what's past."
Upon realizing the sacred and almost divine image Gatsby has of her, Daisy starts to feel the pressure that Gatsby is putting on her, and perceives his attempts to restore the past. Gatsby wants nothing more than to recreate the past, while Daisy is only concerned with the future and how the rest of her life will play out. Gatsby wants Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him, and Gatsby wants to pretend that the last 5 years never happened and continue as things were.
"His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people." "He opened it at the back cover and turned it around for me to see. On the last page was printed the word 'schedule'."
Since Gatsby was young, he already had big plans in store for himself, which suggests he had been patiently waiting for an opportunity to come along. Through hard work and a fervent desire to become a heavily romanticized version of himself, he was eventually able to distance himself from the "unsuccessful farm people" that were his parents, as he had dreamed of for a long time now. To achieve his dream, he became the exact opposite: a successful, urban magnate. After Nick meets Gatsby's father Henry Gatz, he discover s schedule at the back of a book that belonged to Gatsby, the schedule contained may educational and physical activities, this shows that Gatsby from a young age was determined and knew he had a bright future.
"Only the dead dream fought on,"
For Tom, forgiving Daisy for her affair is easy; because he doesn't value their marriage or her love, he sees no need for it to exist untarnished. Gatsby, on the other hand, because of the intensity of his love for Daisy, cannot forgive her for loving Tom; he needs their love to be flawless in his mind.
" guessed at his corruption—and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream."
Gatsby hides the truth about himself behind extravagant parties and a façade which he has created to mask himself from others. Only Nick gets to see the real man behind the image, and that only happens late in the story .
"A penniless young man without a past, and at any moment the invisible cloak of his uniform might slip from his shoulders."
"He had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself — that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter"
-Gatsby put an immense amount of effort into masterminding a facade of wealth to win over Daisy. However, the primary reason Gatsby worked so hard to change himself is because he knows he intrinsically does not belong or fit into the same social world that Daisy belongs in. fact, he had no such facilities to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities.
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