The Great Gatsby
How we cite our quotes:
The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. (3.4)
Talk about isolation. These parties are full of people who instantly forget each other, or never even knew each other to begin with. Trying to meet someone at one of Gatsby's parties would be like trying to have a meaningful conversation at a rave: no one's there to make connections. Well, not the meaningful kind, anyway.
As soon as I arrived I made an attempt to find my host, but the two or three people of whom I asked his whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way, and denied so vehemently any knowledge of his movements, that I slunk off in the direction of the cocktail table – the only place in the garden where a single man could linger without looking purposeless and alone. (3.10)
Actually, this is good advice: if you head to a party without knowing anyone, head for the snacks.
At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others – poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner – young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life. (3.156)
You know all those clichés about big cities being lonely places? Fitzgerald thought so, too. He sees New York as being like one of Gatsby's parties, only less glamorous: full of people, and full of loneliness.