The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Chapter 7 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Tom talked incessantly, exulting and laughing, but his voice was as remote from Jordan and me as the foreign clamor on the sidewalk or the tumult of the elevated overhead. Human sympathy has its limits, and we were content to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind. (7.308)
Well, Tom seems pretty satisfied with himself—but no one else is. They're all unhappy with what's just happened, but Tom has control of this situation.
He had discovered that Myrtle had some sort of life apart from him in another world, and the shock had made him physically sick. (7.160)
George Wilson can't deal with the fact that Myrtle has a lover. It's not the sex that seems to bother him so much, but the fact that she has some sort of independent existence. Marriage is supposed to be about joining your lives, and so having a separate life is a total betrayal.
"Self-control!" repeated Tom incredulously. "I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that's the idea you can count me out […] Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they'll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white."
Flushed with his impassioned gibberish, he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization. (7.222-230)
Uh-huh. Tom is definitely the last bulwark of family values. You know, values like abusing your wife, taking mistresses, and then callously ignoring their brutal deaths.
P.S. If ever a quote were going to date a book, this would be it. We just don't think this way anymore. And thank goodness for that.