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The fact that he had one [a mistress] was insisted upon wherever he was known. His acquaintances resented the fact that he turned up in popular restaurants with her and, leaving her at a table, sauntered about, chatting with whomever he knew. (2.3-4)
Tom is just the worst. It's one thing to have a mistress; it's quite another to embarrass your wife and friends by rubbing that mistress in their face. Right? Right.
About half way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes -- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. (2.1)
West Egg is connected to New York by a road and a set of train tracks. It's not isolated: in fact, the things that happen in the city end up having effects back at West Egg. Trains and other technology like automobiles seemed to decrease isolation throughout the nineteenth century—but did they? Or, like Facebook, do they just give the appearance of togetherness while making us all more and more isolated?
It was on the two little seats facing each other that are always the last ones left on the train. I was going up to New York to see my sister and spend the night. He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, and I couldn't keep my eyes off him, but every time he looked at me I had to pretend to be looking at the advertisement over his head. When we came into the station he was next to me, and his white shirt-front pressed against my arm, and so I told him I'd have to call a policeman, but he knew I lied. I was so excited that when I got into a taxi with him I didn't hardly know I wasn't getting into a subway train. All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.' (2.121)
YOLO: just as dumb in the 1920s as it is now.