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Quotes

Quote #1

Before I could answer her eyes fastened with an awed expression on her little finger.

"Look!" she complained. "I hurt it."

We all looked – the knuckle was black and blue.

"You did it, Tom," she said accusingly. "I know you didn't mean to, but you did do it. That's what I get for marrying a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen of a– "

"I hate that word hulking," objected Tom crossly, "even in kidding."

"Hulking," insisted Daisy. (1.67-72)

That poor bruised little finger is like a symbol of Tom and Daisy's marriage: he hurts it unintentionally, and Daisy just cannot stop talking about it. You get the feeling that Fitzgerald kind of wants her to stop whining already.

Quote #2

"Did you give Nick a little heart-to-heart talk on the veranda?" demanded Tom suddenly.

"Did I?" She looked at me. "I can't seem to remember, but I think we talked about the Nordic race. Yes, I'm sure we did. It sort of crept up on us and first thing you know–"

"Don't believe everything you hear, Nick," he advised me. (1.137-143)

The first rule of marriage is: Don't talk about marriage. Tom is worried that Daisy's been airing their dirty laundry—which is its own form of betrayal.

Quote #3

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.

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