The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Chapter 3 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"See!" he cried triumphantly. "It's a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella's a regular Belasco. It's a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop, too - didn't cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?" (3.49-50)
Gatsby can buy the things that rich people have, but he can't buy the education or experience. But from what the owl-eyed man says, it doesn't sound like anyone else is reading them, either. (See "Gatsby's Books" for an explanation.)
"I like to come," Lucille said. "I never care what I do, so I always have a good time. When I was here last I tore my gown on a chair, and he asked me my name and address – inside of a week I got a package from Croirier's with a new evening gown in it."
"Did you keep it?" asked Jordan.
"Sure I did. I was going to wear it tonight, but it was too big in the bust and had to be altered. It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars." (3.23-25)
Lucille seems more impressed with the price of the gown than the gown itself. And notice how she says "I never care what I do": just one more example of the careless wealthy. Why would you care, when you know that your host will just replace whatever you break? (Unless, of course, it's your heart.)
"Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once."
A thrill passed over all of us. The three Mr. Mumbles bent forward and listened eagerly.
"I don't think it's so much that," argued Lucille sceptically; "it's more that he was a German spy during the war."
One of the men nodded in confirmation.
"I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany," he assured us positively.
"Oh, no," said the first girl, "it couldn't be that, because he was in the American army during the war." As our credulity switched back to her she leaned forward with enthusiasm. "You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody's looking at him. I'll bet he killed a man." (3.30-35)
The funny thing about this exchange is that Gatsby doesn't spend too much time weaving elaborate lies. Yeah, he deceives, but not in the same way that someone like Tom does. You get the sense that he doesn't really care if anyone believes him—and that leads to speculation much wilder than anything he's said.