The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Instead of being the warm center of the world, the Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe—so I decided to go East and learn the bond business. (1.6)
You'd think that returning from war would make Nick satisfied to live a quiet life with his family—but it doesn't. It just makes him restless and, yep, dissatisfied.
Why they came East I don't know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. This was a permanent move, said Daisy over the telephone, but I didn't believe it – I had no sight into Daisy's heart, but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game. (1.17)
Tom's problem is that he peaked too early, playing football at Yale. It's hard to be satisfied with a normal life of playing polo and yachting when you've been a gridiron star.
"It'll show you how I've gotten to feel about – things. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. 'All right,' I said, 'I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool – that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.' "(1.118)
Daisy pretends that she's happy she's had a girl, but she's not. Girls of any class seem to be the losers in this world (thanks, 1920s!), and Daisy, as you could imagine, isn't psyched about that.