43 terms

English Quotes

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Mr. Wolfsheim
" 'Several years,' he answered in a gratified way. 'I made the pleasure of his acquaintance just after the war. But I knew I had discovered a man of fine breeding after I talked with him for an hour. I said to myself: 'There's the kind of man you'd like to take home and introduce to your mother and sister.''"
Henry Gatz (Gatsby's dad)
"If he'd of lived he'd of been a great man...He'd of helped build up the country."
Daisy
"I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."
Nick
"Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply"
Nick
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Nick
"There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own faults but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion."
Nick
"The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself."
Gatsby
"Can't repeat the past...why of course you can!"
Jordan to Nick
"I hate careless people. That's why I like you."
Nick
"Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth."
Nick about Gatsby
"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"
Nick
"He had intended, probably, to take what he could and go—but now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail."
Nick to Gatsby
"They're a rotten crowd," I shouted across the lawn. "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." I've always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end"
George Wilson to Myrtle
"I spoke to her," he muttered, after a long silence. "I told her she might fool me but she couldn't fool God. I took her to the window."—with an effort he got up and walked to the rear window and leaned with his face pressed against it——" and I said 'God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me, but you can't fool God!'"
Nick (narrating)
"Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night." God sees everything," repeated Wilson. "That's an advertisement," Michaelis assured him. Something made him turn away from the window and look back into the room. But Wilson stood there a long time, his face close to the window pane, nodding into the twilight."
Nick
It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night—and, as obscurely as it had begun, his career as Trimalchio was over. Only gradually did I become aware that the automobiles which turned expectantly into his drive stayed for just a minute and then drove sulkily away.
Nick about Daisy (compare to Gatsby saying her voice sounded like money)
"I looked back at my cousin, who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. 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."
Nick about Jordan
"She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with an erect carriage, which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet. Her gray sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face"
Blanche to Eunice
"They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and transfer to one called Cemeteries, and ride six blocks and get off at—Elysian Fields!"
Blanche to Mitch
"A women's charm is fifty percent illusion"
Stanley
"I don't go in for that stuff ... compliments to women about their looks. I never met a woman that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told."
Blanche to Mitch
"Sorrow makes for sincerity, I think."
Blanche
"I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action."
Blanche
"In some kinds of people some tenderer feelings have had some little beginning! That we have to make grow! And cling to, and hold as our flag!"
Mitch
"Poker shouldn't be played in a house with women."
Blanche about Stanley
"He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something -- sub-human -- something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something -- ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I've seen in -- anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is -- Stanley Kowalkski -- survivor of the stone age!"
Blanche
"Men don't want anything they get too easy. But on the other hand, men lose interest quickly."
Blanche
"I don't want realism. I want magic!"
Blanche to Stella
"But you are the one that abandoned Belle Reve, not I! I stayed and fought for it, bled for it, almost died for it!"
Blanche to the male doctor
"Whoever you are--I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
Stella
"He didn't know what he was doing....He was as good as a lamb when I came back and he's really very, very ashamed of himself."
Blanche to Mitch
"You're a natural gentleman, one of the very few that are left in the world. I don't want you to think that I am severe and old maid schoolteacherish or anything like that....I guess it's just that I have - old-fashioned ideals!"
Stanley
"The trouble with Dame Blanche was that she couldn't put on her act any more in Laurel! They got wised up after two or three dates with her and then they quit, and she goes on to another, the same old line, same old act, same old hooey! But the town was too small for this to go on forever! And as time went by she became a town character. Regarded as not just different but downright loco- nuts."
Mitch to Blanche
"You need somebody. And I need somebody, too. Could it be - you and me, Blanche?"
Stanley to Stella
"When we first met, me and you, you thought I was common. How right you was, baby. I was common as dirt. You showed me the snapshot of the place with the columns. I pulled you down off them columns and how you loved it, having them colored lights going! And wasn't we happy together, wasn't it all okay till she showed here?"
Blanche to Mitch
"Yes, I had many intimacies with strangers....So I came here. There was nowhere else I could go. I was played out....and I met you. You said you needed
somebody. Well, I needed somebody, too. I thanked God for you, because you seemed to be gentle - a cleft in the rock of the world that I could hide in!"
Mitch to Blanche
"I don't think I want to marry you any more....You're not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother."
Stanley to Blanche
"I've been on to you from the start! Not once did you pull any wool over this boy's eyes! You come in here and sprinkle the place with powder and spray perfume and cover the light bulb with a paper lantern, and lo and behold the place has turned into Egypt and you are the Queen of the Nile! Sitting on your throne and swilling down my liquor!"
Stanley to Stella
"In the state of Louisiana we have the Napoleonic code according to which belongs to the wife belongs to the husband and vice versa."
Stella to Blanche (when Blanche talks bad about how "animal-like" Stanley is)
"You take it for granted that I am in something that I want to get out of."
Blanche to the young boy
"Now run along, now, quickly! It would be nice to keep you, but I've got to be good- and keep my hands off children."
Blanche to Mitch (when he first tries to kiss her)
"You know as well as I do that a single girl, a girl alone in the world, has got to keep a firm hold on her emotions or she'll be lost."
Mitch to Blanche
"It's dark in here..I don't think I ever seen you in the light...what it means is I've never had a real good look at you.."