The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Did you give Nick a little heart-to-heart talk on the veranda?" demanded Tom suddenly.
"Did I?" She looked at me. "I can't seem to remember, but I think we talked about the Nordic race. Yes, I'm sure we did. It sort of crept up on us and first thing you know–"
"Don't believe everything you hear, Nick," he advised me. (1.137-143)
The first rule of marriage is: Don't talk about marriage. Tom is worried that Daisy's been airing their dirty laundry—which is its own form of betrayal.
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. (1.16-17)
Daisy and Tom's crowd may be "rich together," but this sounds an awful lot like loneliness to us.
"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.'" (1.116-118)
Daisy gives birth to her child alone—the nurse is there, but her husband is nowhere to be found. Apparently, he's not even pacing the hall with a cigar, the way dads were supposed to back in the 1920s. And that poor little girl, born alone into a lonely world. It's enough to make us reach for the tissues.