The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Mortality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight. (7.306-309)
Ouch. We just got hit over the head with a serious case of foreshadowing.
Michaelis and this man reached her first, but when they had torn open her shirtwaist, still damp with perspiration, they saw that her left breast was swinging loose like a flap, and there was no need to listen for the heart beneath. The mouth was wide open and ripped at the corners, as though she had choked a little in giving up the tremendous vitality she had stored for so long. (7.313)
When Nick first meets Myrtle, he notices how "alive" she seems—which we're pretty sure is code for "sexy." Maybe that's why she's so disgusting in death, like, the more you live the worse you die? We're not sure. But we do know that this is pretty gruesome.
It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilson's body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete. (8.112-114)
Notice that Nick calls this a "holocaust." We're two decades before the World War II holocaust, so that's not a reference point here, but the word still means "mass destruction." The thing is, three bodies is tragic, but it's not exactly mass destruction. We think that something metaphoric is being destroyed here: a way of life? Nick's innocence? The American Dream?