The Diamond as Big as the Ritz
How we cite our quotes:
St. Midas' School is half an hour from Boston in a Rolls-Pierce motorcar. The actual distance will never be known, for no one, except John T. Unger, had ever arrived there save in a Rolls-Pierce and probably no one ever will again. St. Midas' is the most expensive and the most exclusive boys' preparatory school in the world. (1.10)
This is a great example of the exaggeration that Fitzgerald uses in his descriptions throughout "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz." St. Midas' isn't just an expensive school – it's the most expensive school in the world. This sort of hyperbole is right in line with the exaggerated opulence that characterizes the wealth and lifestyle of the Washington family.
"He must be very rich," said John simply. "I'm glad. I like very rich people. The richer a fella is, the better I like him." (1.22)
John is the embodiment of America's wealth-obsessed culture, at least as Fitzgerald sees it.
On this June night, the Great Brakeman, whom, had they deified any one, they might well have chosen as their celestial protagonist, had ordained that the seven o'clock train should leave its human (or inhuman) deposit at Fish. (2.3)
What an odd parenthetical. On the one hand, this statement might refer to the fact that the train could be carrying passengers or cargo. But on the other hand, it might be a moral judgment on Percy and John.