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Quotes

Quote #4

"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?" (3.41-49)

Even the books are a lie. They're real, but they've never been read. (See "Gatsby's Books" for an explanation.) At the same time, maybe we can see this as honesty. He's not actually trying to pretend that he's read them; if he were, he'd have cut the pages—you know, the way you crack the binding to make it look like you've read your copy of The Great Gatsby? (We kid, we kid.) In the end, Gatsby actually comes across as pretty honest.

Quote #5

It made no difference to me. Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply – I was casually sorry, and then I forgot. It was on that same house party that we had a curious conversation about driving a car. It started because she passed so close to some workmen that our fender flicked a button on one man's coat. (3.159)

Whew. Ladies, breathe a sigh of relief. There are different standards: you don't have to be as honest as men. Of course, you also don't get to hold the same jobs or make the same wages or have the same freedoms, so, you know. It's a trade-off.

Quote #6

Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known. (3.170)

Well, don't strain anything trying to pat yourself on the back, Nick.

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